Catalog Home Page

Career change teachers: Pragmatic choice or a vocation postponed?

Laming, M.M. and Horne, M. (2013) Career change teachers: Pragmatic choice or a vocation postponed? Teachers and Teaching: Theory and Practice, 19 (3). pp. 326-343.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


For the last decade, international bodies have warned of a teacher shortage and sought to find ways of attracting more applicants to the profession. This article reports on a pilot study undertaken at one Australian university which asked why some applicants to preservice teaching courses had given up existing careers in order to become teachers. It then asked if their career change had been successful. Using open-ended questions and interviews, this paper recorded the view of 35 teachers who had been in teaching for 2–5 years. The findings suggest that reasons for selecting teaching as a second career are more complex and nuanced than existing research suggests, combining pragmatic, deeply personal and spiritual elements. It also found a significant connection between career change teachers’ satisfaction with their new occupation and the status of their occupation, indicating that further study of career change teachers’ experiences and personal beliefs is warranted.

Publication Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation: Centre for University Teaching and Learning
Publisher: Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Item Control Page Item Control Page