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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Specialized Recruitment: An Examination of the Motivations and Expectations of Pre-Service Urban Educators


This paper reports on a cross-sectional analysis of survey data collected on over three hundred pre-service teachers enrolled in a specialized teacher education program focused on the preparation of teachers for high-poverty urban schools. Initial analyses indicate that the background characteristics of individuals attracted to the specialized program and their reasons for entering the profession differ from those of pre-service teachers in the population at large. Program entrants tend to be motivated by activist ideals, expressing high levels of initial commitment to teaching and to furthering social justice through education. Laying the groundwork for comparison studies, the author argues that the specialized recruitment of pre-service teachers may combine with specialized teacher preparation to increase the retention of educators in high-poverty, hard-to staff schools.

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