ERIC Number: ED443815
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000
A Sense of Calling: Who Teaches and Why. A Report from Public Agenda.
Farkas, Steve; Johnson, Jean; Foleno, Tony
This report discusses why new teachers enter the profession and what they think of it now that they are teaching. It also examines the perspectives of young college graduates in other professions and captures the observations of school superintendents and principals. Researchers conducted telephone interviews with members of each group and focus groups with beginning teachers and college graduates. Results indicated that beginning teachers were motivated, committed, and doing what they wanted to do. Low salaries kept some people out of teaching, though incentives other than salaries actually attracted people to the profession. Teachers wanted smaller classes and more administrative and parental support. Almost one in five young graduates in other fields expressed real interest in teaching, and it was not low salaries keeping them away but rather the worry that they could not make a difference. Teachers believed that good teaching comes from what happens daily in the classroom, not from the pages of a book. Six chapters discuss: (1) "Are New Teachers Demoralized and Uncommitted?" (2) "Are Talented Young People Avoiding the Profession?" (3) "Is Money the Problem?" (4) "Is Certification the Problem?" (5) "Is Teacher Preparation the Problem?" and (6) "Do Working Conditions Undermine Teacher Performance?" (Contains 10 endnotes.) (SM)
Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Beginning Teachers, Career Choice, College Graduates, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Preservice Teacher Education, Principals, Superintendents, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Certification, Teacher Salaries, Teaching Conditions, Teaching (Occupation)
Public Agenda, 6 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016; Tel: 212-686-6610; Fax: 212-889-3461; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.publicagenda.org ($10).
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, Washington, DC.; Open Society Inst., New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: Public Agenda Foundation, New York, NY.
Note: Produced with Ann Duffett and Patrick Foley.