Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Lisa D. Reason


North Carolina faces a growing shortage of male teachers in K-12 classrooms. To help understand that problem, the purpose of this quantitative, cross-sectional, descriptive study was to explore the motivating factors that influence individuals to consider pursuing teaching careers and to determine whether these factors differ based on gender. Research questions used to guide the inquiry asked whether differences exist between males and females with regard to 13 motivational factors important for entry into the teaching profession and measured by the FIT-Choice Survey. Conceptually, Fishbein and Ajzen's expectancy value theory, which suggests that individuals make career choices based on expectations for personal success, framed the study. A targeted population was recruited of 314 male and female teachers in the southern feeder area of a school district in eastern North Carolina. In all, 223 teachers responded, providing 205 viable surveys. Of the completed surveys used for analysis, females submitted 170 and males submitted 35. Independent samples t tests and Mann-Whitney U tests determined the significance of differences between the groups on each motivation factor. Results from data analysis revealed no significant differences in males and females on the 13 motivation factors with one exception: the factor measuring an individual's desire to work with children/adolescents. For that factor, women scored significantly higher than men did. Two other factors, intrinsic career value and time for family approached significance. The information obtained from this study may contribute to the body of literature related to gender and the desire to teach. Findings may increase diversity in the teaching field and strengthen teacher recruitment programs. By helping to create increased diversity in classrooms, this study will ultimately benefit all students, both boys and girls

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