n South African Journal of Education - Teaching as a career choice : attractors and deterrents identified by Grade 11 learners




Any strategic plan to address the predicted shortage of teachers will have to include the promotion of the teaching profession as an attractive career. This will, however, depend largely on how successfully the campaign takes into account the favourable and less favourable opinions and perceptions of learners about the education system as a whole and about teaching as a career. This research project focused on Grade 11 learners because this is the stage at which many learners are seriously considering different career options. The results obtained by this project highlighted specific attractors and deterrents that were identified by the respondents, which might influence their decision to consider teaching as a career. The prospect of working with children, sharing knowledge with others, playing an important part in the development of society in general, and making an important contribution to community development were experienced as strong attractors. In contrast, strong deterrents identified by the study were: the respondents' perception that pupils no longer respect teachers, their negative assessment of teachers' remuneration, the perceived unpleasant working conditions caused by poor discipline in schools, their observation that teachers do not look very happy in their jobs and the perceived extent of violence in schools.


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