Hokjesdenken is vaak not done, maar het zoeken naar gemeenschappelijke kenmerken blijft interessant. Gebaseerd op een bevraging van meer dan 1000 leerkrachten heeft het “Why Teach?”-project (in samenwerking met Pearson) nu 4 types leerkrachten onderscheiden op basis van hun motivatie. Wil je weten welk type je zelf bent, er is een test. De resultaten zijn wel gebaseerd op een online bevraging van een random selectie uit een bestaand respons-panel, wat vanuit praktisch oogpunt begrijpelijk is, maar eventueel voor vertekening kan zorgen.
Dit zijn de 4 types die ze onderscheiden:
Idealists joined the teaching profession because they want to make a difference to their pupils, community and society. Their social mission is the driving force behind their work, and although they report being good at teaching and well qualified to teach, these factors are secondary to their desire to change the world. They are more likely to teach in local authority and community schools than other types of teachers, and tend to be slightly younger, although idealists can be found in all demographic groups. They are committed to education, would recommend it to others and are less likely to want to leave the profession.
Moderates are your everyday, middle of the road, teachers. They are defined by their non-extreme positions, but that doesn’t mean that they are indifferent or apathetic. Rather, they are neutral, open-minded and flexible, working hard and enjoying their jobs. They like their subject and working with children and young people, but they aren’t necessarily driven to be at the top of their field. For the most part, moderates are happy with things as they are and will take things as they come. They tend to be younger people, who might not have always wanted to be teachers, but have found themselves in the profession and are reasonably likely to want to stay in it.
Practitioners are the ones who always wanted to be teachers. They love their subject, working with children and young people, and being in school. They are very engaged with teaching and education, and want to be great at what they do. They are often middle or senior leaders, and tend to work in the primary sector (although there are plenty of secondary and FE practitioners too). The vast majority are women and they are very likely to recommend teaching to everyone from their brightest student to their younger selves. They are the most vocationally driven and the ones who are most likely to want to stay in the profession.
Rationalists are people who have made pragmatic decisions about being teachers. After weighing up the pros and cons, they feel that teaching is pretty favourable to them and so they stay in the profession. They make careful decisions about where they teach and what sorts of roles they taken on, and they don’t automatically prioritise teaching over the rest of their lives. They don’t seem to enjoy teaching as much as the other groups and sometimes they feel frustrated about education. They are less likely to recommend teaching to others, and often think about leaving the profession. Perhaps if they made their choice again, they would not have been teachers after all.