Motivation in teacher education: The forgotten element and its snowball effect

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This research explores student teachers' motivation to join teacher education and its relation to their career intention to join the teaching profession. The qualitative study was conducted in the English department of private and state teacher education in Indonesia. A total of 14 student teachers (20-23 years old) took part in the interview. The findings show that most student teachers chose Initial Teacher Education (ITE) because of external motivation factors such as the alternative option of not being accepted at their desired faculty or following parents’ suggestions. Besides that, considering the internal motivation factor, one of the common reasons students chose English teacher education was the interest in English, which was also viewed as transferrable skills that could be useful to many other job possibilities. The findings show that only a few of the participants who prioritised their career to become teachers. The findings might contest the generalisation that often associates student teachers’ motivation to join teacher education to become teachers. Even though the assumption is valid to some extent, the nuances in the student teachers’ motivation to choose teacher education might need to be considered, especially in the context when joining teacher education is relatively easy because there is no high-stake test involved and teaching might be perceived as an unattractive career intention. The findings also indicate that as motivation is fluid, abstract, and hard to measure, teacher education overlooks this element in the admission process. However, forgetting the importance of student teachers’ motivation in teacher education could lead to a more severe problem in the quality of graduates and education in the long run.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalEducation and Self Development
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Indonesia Endowment Fund for Education (LPDP).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Kazan Federal University. All rights reserved.


  • motivation
  • teacher education
  • qualitative study
  • student teachers
  • career intention


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