Foundation phase teaching as a career choice: Building the nation where it is needed

Nadine Petersen, Gadija Petker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This article addresses the question of why students choose to study to become foundation phase (FP) teachers. Career choice in teacher education is an important national issue, particularly since there is a drive to increase enrolment in foundation phase teacher education programmes in the country. In this study we explore the motivation of two cohorts of South African first-year students for their decision to enrol for this qualification. In response to an open-ended question survey, designed within the broad framework of motivation theory, students wrote brief narratives which were utilised as the data source. Particular emphasis was placed on the need-motive-value approach, as one classification of motivation theory to analyse the data. We argue that within the overall value of social justice in education the motivation for becoming teachers of the early grades can be seen as a contribution to the building of a young nation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S49-S61
JournalEducation as Change
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


  • Foundation phase education
  • motivation theory
  • nation building
  • pre-service teachers
  • teaching as career choice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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