Cand.polit. Katrine Nesje
Title of dissertation:
Motivation and professional Identity in a context of multiple career choices.
Historically, entering an occupation was largely dependent on tradition and class. In contemporary Western societies, however, work is to a greater degree negotiable as an individual and changeable category, with many people having multiple career opportunities. Thus, work has increasingly become a question of motivated choices and professional identity development. In addition to addressing teaching motivation among teacher students in general, central themes in the thesis are motivations for teaching and professional identity development among of a group of young professionals with a university education in engineering, mathematics, biology and physics, who have chosen to test a possible career as a teacher by entering the Teach First programme.
The thesis is theoretically framed within expectancy-value motivational theory and theories of professional identity development. I have applied a multi-method approach for the purpose of studying both quantitative and qualitative aspects of motivation and professional identity development.
Three empirical studies are presented in the thesis. The first study is a psychometric investigation of a questionnaire measuring motivations for teaching: the Factors Influencing Teaching (FIT)-Choice Scale. This study provides support for using a translated version of the scale as a measure of teaching motivation in a Norwegian context. The second study identifies three motivational profiles in a group of Teach First candidates. These profiles are interpreted as distinct types of early teacher identity, and they are used as data in the third and final study. In the third study, Teach First candidates were followed through the two-year Teach First programme. The aim of the third study was to investigate how the Teach First candidates initial views of teaching interacted with their experiences as school teachers. In this study, I have found that the concept of identity play is a fruitful concept in the explanation of professional identity development as it unfolds among young professionals.