, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 37-49
Date: 30 Mar 2010

A Study of the Perceptions and Worldviews of Mature Age Pre-Service Teachers Aged Between 31 and 53

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Abstract

This study presents the perceptions and worldviews of 17 mature age second-career pre-service teachers in career transition. The aim was to explore the experience of becoming a primary school teacher after a first career. The second-career pre-service teachers were enrolled on a full-time basis at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE/UT). The primary data were collected from 17 separate interviews of approximately 1 h; over two separate calendar years, which totalled a five-month interviewing period. The interviewees volunteered to be part of the study and were aged between 31 and 53 and enrolled in two high academic entry-level accelerated programmes for graduates. The interviewees had previous undergraduate degrees and numerous years’ experience working in a variety of other careers. The overall findings are that individuals who have been involved in well-established careers, present distinct perceptions of teaching, that are not only separate from traditional younger pre-service teachers, but remain as significant factors throughout their teaching programmes. It is argued that perceptions could in turn shape their pedagogy in ways that are either profitable or problematic to primary teaching.