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South African Journal of Education

Print version ISSN 0256-0100

Abstract

WOLHUTER, Charl et al. What inspires South African student teachers for their future profession?. S. Afr. j. educ. [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.2, pp. 178-190. ISSN 0256-0100.

The need for an inspired professional teacher corps to haul South African school education out of its current low level of quality was the driving force behind this project. Its aim was to determine what counted as sources of inspiration for student teachers and hence for future teachers. Based on a conceptual-theoretical study, a questionnaire that could probe student teachers' sources of inspiration was completed by a sample of student teachers (n = 1,683). A factor analysis of their responses revealed the following as their sources of inspiration, from most to least important: (extended) family, religion, the teacher education institution, teaching practice, friends, and personal life. A comparison with similar research elsewhere revealed that, in this sample of respondents, considerations, such as education being the only accessible profession or being forced to enter the teaching profession because of economic circumstances, did not figure at all.

Keywords : family; inspiration; religion; student teachers; teacher education.

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