Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


The present study was conducted to examine pre- and in-service teachers’ dispositions toward teaching and career choice motivations at periods of transition. This quantitative inquiry outlined how professional dispositions and career choice motivations developed and interacted in pre-service and beginning teachers in an Australian tertiary setting. This was done through investigating: (1) changes in teacher dispositions and career motivation over the course of teacher training and entry into the field, by focusing on key times of transition and change; and (2) changing inter-relations between teacher dispositions and career motivations over this time. In the context of this study, dispositions were understood as a tendency to behave in a particular way, as determined by a set of latent, context-specific psycho-cognitive traits. Career choice motivations were understood as the factors that determine and sustain an individual’s choice of career. This study aimed to expand current understandings of dispositions by exploring the longitudinal development and potentially changing relationships between teacher dispositions and career choice motivations in pre-service and beginning teachers. This study was in response to recent interest in Australian education reform to consider dispositions in the acceptance and accreditation of teachers, where it would be assessed in the process of preparing new teachers.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.