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A comparative study on motivational factors in choosing teaching profession

Onder Koklu (Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Comparative Education and Development

ISSN: 2396-7404

Article publication date: 23 December 2022

Issue publication date: 13 March 2023




This study aims to identify the main motivational factors that led practicing teachers to choose teaching as a profession in the United States and Turkey. Another purpose of this research is to investigate the possible significant difference between male and female teachers from the United States and Turkey considering motivational factors that lead them to choose teaching as a profession.


Qualitative and quantitative methods were used to collect and analyze the data. First, randomly selected middle grades teachers were asked to write personal statements where they explain their main reasons for choosing teaching as a career. Then, qualitative data obtained from personal statements were coded. The coding process allowed the researcher to create factors. Then, cross-tabular representation was produced by descriptive data. Finally, ANOVA was run in order to identify significant differences among groups of participants in terms of all motivational factors.


Results indicated that (1) female teachers are motivated mostly by “Leisure and Comfort”; (2) “Enjoyment of subject” is a big motivator for US male teachers; (3) Turkish male teachers are motivated mostly by “Necessities” (4) male teachers have no strong desire to work with kids; (5) female teachers enjoy teaching more comparing the male teachers; (6) US Female teachers feel more personal fulfillment in teaching.

Practical implications

Motivational factors and reasons for choosing a teaching career can be further investigated by qualitative case studies with selected male and female teachers in order to better understand the reasons that derived both male and female teachers to specific kinds of motivational factors. That may provide a tick description of how motivation for the teaching profession develops over time starting from early memories and experiences in education and schooling. Through the lens of these kinds of qualitative studies, we may better understand how lived experiences are affecting decision-making by developing interest in specific areas.


Although there is a considerable amount of studies conducted to examine preservice teachers' reasons given for joining the teaching profession, limited research has been done with practicing teachers to better understand the factors that motivated them to join the teaching profession.



Disclosure statement: The author report there are no competing interests to declare.

Data availability statement: Data supporting the results and analyses presented in the paper can be provided by the researcher upon request.


Koklu, O. (2023), "A comparative study on motivational factors in choosing teaching profession", International Journal of Comparative Education and Development, Vol. 25 No. 1, pp. 1-22.



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