Why teach in the foundation phase: Motives of males at a university in Johannesburg, South Africa


  • Michaela Moodley University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
  • Moeniera Moosa University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa




Foundation Phase, male teachers, influences, motives, intrinsic motives, altruistic motives, external motives


Worldwide, male teachers in the Foundation Phase (FP) are a rarity, given the perception that the teaching of younger children is more suited to females than to males. Little research has been conducted in South Africa on the factors that influence men to become Foundation Phase teachers. This study investigated the motives of male student teachers at a university in Johannesburg who had decided to pursue a career as Foundation Phase teachers. The study adopted a theoretical lens based on the Expectancy-value theory of achievement motivation (Wigfield & Eccles, 2000). The study adopted a qualitative approach and an intensive research design, with data collected from semi-structured
interviews with seven purposively selected participants. Data were analysed by means of the Factors Influencing Teaching (FIT) choice theory. Three participants were driven by intrinsic motives, stating that they had a passion for teaching young children. The other three were driven by extrinsic motives, stating either that they wanted to address gender stereotypes, or that FP teaching had been their default choice after they had been refused admittance to
their preferred course. One participant indicated altruistic motives, borne of personal experience with a family member, empathy and the desire to be a positive male role model.


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How to Cite

Moodley, M. ., & Moosa, M. (2013). Why teach in the foundation phase: Motives of males at a university in Johannesburg, South Africa. Perspectives in Education, 41(4). https://doi.org/10.38140/pie.v41i4.6656



Research articles