Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Due to the problems of teacher surpluses and teacher shortages in the last decade, a study of the characteristics associated with university teacher education program applicants, graduates, and practicing teachers was essential. Data for this study were gathered from three projects conducted by the Research Institute for Studies in Education at Iowa State University during 1981-1982. There were three groups of participants: (1) the potential ISU Teacher Education Program applicants (N = 563), (2) the ISU Teacher Education Program graduates (N = 443), and (3) the Iowa public school teachers (N = 597);ANOVA, Tukey B Test, and the Chi-Square Test were applied to examine the characteristic differences among participants who decided to continue in teaching, who were undecided, and who decided to pursue other careers. Path analysis was applied to examine the hypothetical causal model which related the characteristics of potential teachers to their decisions about teaching;Compared to undeciders and non-future-teachers, applicants who decided to continue in teaching were people oriented, from small high schools, enrolled in the College of Education, and had higher academic achievement and aptitude scores. Graduates intending to stay in teaching were females and more people oriented. They had higher GPAs and valued occupations with the opportunity for creativity and originality more than did the graduates not intending to teach. Generally, teachers who intended to continue in teaching were females, in preschool or elementary school, and were living on a farm or in a small town. They preferred psychic rewards to material rewards, had more years of teaching experience, and had decided to become a teacher when they were young. Regarding the causal models, background characteristics, except gender, had more influence on applicants' decisions, while gender and occupational values had more influence on graduates' decisions about teaching.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Kuang-Chi Chen



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169 pages