The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

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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.

Open Access

Product information

Format : 280mm x 210mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 152
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2243-8
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2243-4
Publish Year : 2009
Rights : World Rights

Series preface
Project preface
Acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary

1 Introduction
2 Research scope and methodology
3 Profile of the population
4 Learners' school situation in 2005
5 Learners' aspirations one year from survey date
6 Long-term aspirations and expectations
7 Findings of the focus group interviews
8 Implications of the findings
9 Conclusion

Appendices
Appendix 1 Grade 12 learner aspiration questionnaire
Appendix 2 Interview schedules
References

Michael Cosser examines Grade 12 student attitudes towards teaching as a viable career and then student plans for entering the teaching profession after graduation in the first part of this podcast series. He is the author of Studying Ambitions: Pathways from grade 12 and the factors that shape them and co-author of Ambitions Revised: Grade 12 learner destinations one year on (HSRC Press).

Duration: 5 min 33 sec

Michael Cosser is a chief research specialist in the Education, Science and Skills Development research programme at the HSRC. Before joining the HSRC, he was head of the Division of Standards Setting at the South African Qualifications Authority (1998-2000), lecturer in the Academic Development Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) (1993-1997), and junior lecturer in the Department of English, Wits (1988-1992). At the HSRC he has led projects in a diverse range of fields, from Student Choice Behaviour to provincial Human Resources Development strategies (Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal), to Human Capital Instruments (Department of Science and Technology), to learner pathway studies (tracing learners beyond Grade 12). He is currently (2005-) Organisation Manager for the Teacher Education Programme at the HSRC, where he oversees ten projects dealing with various aspects of teacher education.

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