Educational Research for Policy and Practice

, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 163–173 | Cite as

A test of personal and social utility values and the appeal of a career in teaching

  • Jason GierschEmail author
Original Article


An effective education system depends upon attracting college students into the teaching profession, but most of the research on what motivates individuals to pursue teaching merely surveys individuals who have already entered a teacher education program. This study employs an experimental design to test the effects of exposure to randomly assigned lists of reasons to teach reflecting personal utility values or social utility values on the appeal of the career to a sample of college students. Results indicate that both personal and social utility values are relevant to the appeal of a career in teaching and to a similar degree. Gender differences in this relationship were negligible.


Teacher recruitment Career choice Motivation Teacher education 



I would like to thank Dr. Cherie Maestas, Rauch Distinguished Professor in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration and director of PolsLab at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Resources to run this experiment were provided through PolsLab, supported by the Marshall A. Rauch Fellowship, the Department of Public Policy and Public Administration, the Public Policy PhD Program, and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and Public AdministrationUniversity of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotteUSA

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