"Not motivated but frustrated": Preservice Teachers’ Career Choice Motivations and Professional Identity in an African Context
Keywords:preservice teacher career motivations, teacher professional identity, teaching ethics, FIT-Choice model, Nigeria
This study examines preservice teachers’ career choice motivations and professional identity in an African context, Nigeria, using a narrative research method. It draws on the stories of 37 social education preservice teachers at a university in Nigeria about their teacher-becoming trajectory and teaching practice experience to realize its aims. Findings show that in Nigeria, the choice of teaching is highly motivated by fallback higher education programs, extrinsic, and socialization influence factors, while intrinsic, perceived abilities, and altruistic factors are the least motivators. The choice of teaching is influenced by gender in Nigeria, with women’s sociocultural status and traditional gender roles influencing their choice of teaching and intention to remain in the teaching profession. The majority of the preservice teachers (83.78%) have poor and negative teaching professional identities. Also, intrinsic and altruistic motivation factors are associated with positive teacher professional identity in Nigeria. Preservice teachers’ professional identity develops from social influences, intrinsic perspectives, and their teacher education experiences and institutional factors such as teacher welfare and development policies. The findings provide insights into social education teacher pedagogic and ethics training needs that could, drawing on teacher agency to navigate the structural challenges confronting the education profession in Nigeria, foster preservice teachers’ strong interest in teaching and possibly reduce teacher attrition in developing contexts.
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