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A report of the European Commission (201t) states that a teacher’s career has lost the capacity to attract the most promising future professionals. As the teaching profession is no longer as attractive as before, Latvia is already experiencing a serious shortage of qualified teachers, and in turn, the declining prestige of this profession is having a negative impact on the enrolment of highly qualified candidates in teacher education programmes.
The aim of the present article is to identify the factors determining the choice of the teacher’s career among the applicants of pre-service teacher education programmes. The main emphasis and research question in relation to career activities is based on the development of the concept of “career readiness”. Therefore, the content of applicants’ answers to entrance examination questions received for the last three years have been explored. The criteria for the analysis are based on the subjective and objective career factors, often mentioned words in their goals and features in describing their suitability for the profession.
The research findings give the evidence that a majority of teacher education programme applicants choose their future career based on the subjective career factors (values, job stability, challenges, work-life balance, goal fulfilment, etc.), however in the society they are judged by objective career factors (promotion, salary, economic situation, etc.) and the lack of congruence between them might make teachers leave their profession. Besides the factors influencing and shaping professional development of pre-service teacher career have been explored and suggestions for the improvement of the admission and study process in pre-service teacher education programmes are put forward.
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