Evidence on attraction includes identifying the motivations prospective teachers have to enrol in ITP programmes, mapping among these motivational factors the best predictors of a successful university graduate, an effective teacher and persistence in the profession.
- Guarino et al. (2006) conducted a review of studies that consistently found that cross-sectional variation in salary was associated with teacher recruitment and retention. Yet, teachers’ salaries are still lower than salaries of other professionals. Teachers’ actual salaries at pre-primary, primary and general secondary levels of education are 81% to 96% of earnings of tertiary-educated workers on average across OECD countries (OECD, 2018).
- Although some findings indicate that teachers’ salaries are positively associated with teacher recruitment and retention, salary alone is insufficient to adjust the society’s and teachers’ perceptions, and needs to be considered in relation to a range of other reward structures (Berry, Eckert and Bauries, 2012; Watt et al., 2012). For example, large-scale studies and teacher testimonies suggest that working conditions are far more important than bonuses in persuading teachers to stay or leave their classrooms (Berry, Eckert and Bauries, 2012).
- According to TALIS (OECD, 2014), more than 9 out of 10 teachers are satisfied with their jobs and nearly eight in ten would choose the teaching profession again. But fewer than one in three teachers believe teaching is a valued profession in society. These results have obvious implications with regard to the attractiveness of the teaching profession (OECD, 2014).
- There is a substantial amount of research on what motivates individuals to study teaching. Borrowing from incentive theory, teacher motivations were initially classified as intrinsic, extrinsic or altruistic (Brookhart and Freeman, 1992). Subsequent classification is based on expectancy-value theory, which espouses that values and ability beliefs (or expectancies of success) are the most important motivations predicting academic choices and behaviours (König and Rothland, 2012; Watt et al., 2012).
- Results of a study conducted in Australia, Germany, Norway and the United States by (Richardson and Watt, 2014), indicated that social utility value – i.e. an individual’s desire to make a social contribution, enhance social equality, work with children and shape their lives – and perceived teaching ability are the highest rated influence on the choice of a teaching career. These are followed by prior teaching and learning experiences and personal utility value, i.e. an individual’s desire to spend time with the family, and have job security and job transferability. Similar results were found in a study of teachers in Norway and Sweden (Flores and Niklasson, 2014).