HomeThe Asia-Pacific Education Researchervol. 21 no. 2 (2012)

Why Do They Want to Become Teachers? A Study on Prospective Teachers’ Motivation to Teach in Hong Kong

Bick Har Lam

Discipline: Education



Teaching as an occupation in Hong Kong differs significantly from the western context from which most researches on teaching motivation originate. Through in-depth interviews with 38 graduands of a teacher-preparation programme, beginning teachers’ motivations for choosing teaching were explored using grounded theory methods. Respondents’ motivations coalesce into two categories, “teaching as a safe haven”, and “internal satisfaction”. Participants were conceptualized as falling into two groups: one group was motivated exclusively by “internal satisfaction”, the other saw “teaching as a safe haven” but at the same time also appreciated teaching’s internal satisfaction.