Studying ambitions: pathways from grade 12 and the factors that shape them
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Broadly concerned with grade 12 learner aspirations for the future, this monograph hones in on the aspiration to study education and to enter the teaching profession. The National Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa highlights this as a crucial area for further research - a need which this study attempts to address.
Studying Ambitions investigates the responses of 20 659 grade 12 learners in a range of schools across all nine provinces, to a 2005 survey of learner aspirations and the factors that influenced them. Comparing the findings with those of a similar survey conducted in 2001, the study confirms a hunger for further learning against a backdrop of predominantly poor academic performance and low socio-economic status. Teaching, the findings show, remains highly unattractive in comparison with other fields and professions. This presents a major challenge in the quest to develop a strong supply of well-qualified teachers for our schools.
This monograph is part of the Teacher Education in South Africa series. The series documents a wide-ranging set of research projects on teacher education conducted by the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme within the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), as part of a consortium of research partners. A comprehensive investigation of the dynamics shaping the professional development of educators, the series provides important reading for educationists, academics and policy-makers.