Teacher candidates? intentions to teach: implications for recruiting and retaining teachers in urban schools

Chen L. C., Akın Sabuncu S., Goodwin A. L.

JOURNAL OF EDUCATION FOR TEACHING, vol.45, no.5, pp.525-539, 2019 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2019
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02607476.2019.1674562
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.525-539
  • Keywords: Teacher education, social justice, recruitment, retention, teacher candidates, urban education, SOCIAL-JUSTICE, EDUCATION, PEDAGOGIES, RETENTION, CAREER
  • TED University Affiliated: Yes


This study addresses how teacher candidates committed to a social-justice-oriented urban teacher residency programmeme articulate and reflect why they want to be teachers in high-need public schools and what they expect from teaching so as to ascertain what they expect to do. The participants of this study included 77 graduates who participated in four cohorts of an urban teacher residency programmeme from 2010 through 2014. Employing a qualitative case study design, we analysed 77 sets of admissions essays, which were completed as part of the residency application process. Building on our analysis of candidates? admissions essays through inductive coding, we find that candidates? reflections on why they want to be teachers in high-need public schools and what they expect to do, stem from their beliefs in their role as a teacher and their beliefs about the role of education. Such reflections are grounded in beliefs of teacher activism, pupil activism, and advocacy for pupils who have been marginalised due to systemic inequalities. The study illuminates committed teachers? reasons for entering the teaching profession so as to inform better recruitment strategies, and has implications for how initial teacher education (ITE) programme could specifically improve their professional preparation and practices to recruit and retain qualified teachers who intend to stay.