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ERIC Number: EJ1158782
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1925-0746
"You and I Will Change the World": "Student Teachers' Motives for Choosing Special Education"
Lavian, Rivka Hillel
World Journal of Education, v3 n4 p10-25 2013
In the last few years we have noticed that a large number of students opt to study special education in preference to other fields in the colleges of education. The sources and implications of this phenomenon must be investigated particularly considering the proportion of pupils with special needs in the educational system. Many studies have addressed the issue of the motivation for selecting teaching in regular education but this topic has hardly been investigated in special education. Therefore, the objective of this research is to examine through life-stories what motivates students of education, including those in the academic retraining programs, to choose special education. The research question: What motivates student teachers to major in special education? The research is a narrative research, which has many contributions for teaching and for education: the proximity to the agents of education by focusing on their discourses, the dismantling of barriers between the researcher and subject and the empowerment of the educators working in the field. The narrative form contributes to the professional and personal development of teachers and other educators. The research group included 20 special education students in one of the large colleges in Israel. The research tool was the autobiography, a written life-story. In the narrative analysis approach used here, hypotheses were based on direct descriptions and explanations provided by the narrators. Thus, a picture emerged of the subject under examination that reflected the data and the research participants' world. No theory of any kind was imposed on the data. The present research was founded on the content-based, categorical analysis model developed by Lieblich, Tuval-Mashich & Zilber (1998). The picture arising from the narratives is that of highly motivated teachers. Most of them came to special education from a very personal place, from personal or familial difficulties. Some of them have learning disabilities or were new immigrants. Some of them are sisters to children with special needs. This forced them to experience in the early stages of their lives a treatment where they experienced success either through personal responsibility or in the army. They come to teaching with the intent of changing the system, to make it better and more empathetic. Some of them come to teaching out of a desire for a corrective experience for themselves after a sense of failure in the regular system. Some of the participants indicated the influence that significant special education teachers had on them as models of identification. All the participants recognized themselves as having personal traits and abilities which drove them to pursue this profession such as creativity and flexibility, commitment, patience, sensitivity and empathy. Most of the participants perceive special education as more meaningful than regular education, while some of them see educational studies as a step towards studying various types of therapy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Israel
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A