Journal directory listing - Volume 68 (2023) - Journal of Research in Education Sciences【68(1)】March

A Man Who Knows What He Wants — The Moderation Effects of Professional Identity on Career Self-Efficacy, Outcome Expectation, Learning Burnout, and Career Hope in Preservice Teachers Author: Chia-Cheng Chen (Teacher Education Center, National Taiwan University of Arts), Chao-Hsiang Hung (General Education Center, National Taiwan University of Arts)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 68, No. 1
Date:March 2023

The common expression a man who knows what he wants emphasizes the notion that individuals should be certain about their goals and not be limited by others or be unenthusiastic; this trait is essential in career planning. Owing to the influence of Confucian culture and the practice of attaching importance to academic achievements in East Asian countries, teaching jobs are considered honorable. Therefore, many Taiwanese college students are inclined to become teachers.
In Taiwan, college students who aspire to become full-time teachers must enroll in a teacher education program, complete this program successfully, and pass a teacher certification exam. Therefore, preservice teachers also function as students at teacher education centers and complete relevant courses. Preservice teachers hope to teach in the future; however, their departments often allure them into pursuing careers related to departmental expertise. Hence, preservice teachers may have to choose between teaching or department-related profession — a situation we called professional identity dilemma. Regardless of their choice, they must invest time in both the teacher education program and their departmental coursework. Furthermore, because of the uncertainty related to passing the teacher certification exam, many preservice teachers experience learning burnout and feel hopeless regarding their careers.
A review of studies on social cognitive career theory indicated that career self-efficacy has been determined to be the most predictive variable in studies on career development. Accordingly, we believe that preservice teachers with high competence in career-related decision-making experience low levels of learning burnout and high levels of career hope. Expectancy-value theory proposed by Wigfield and Eccles (2000) states that the willingness of individuals to invest in learning depends mainly on their expectation of success and the value of learning. If preservice teachers expect that they can become teachers successfully and if becoming a teacher is consistent with their values, they tend to invest in learning and persevere. Therefore, this study argues that expectation would function as a mediator of motivation.
On the basis of both social cognitive career theory and expectancy-value theory, this study evaluated the mediating effects of preservice teachers’ outcome expectations on their career self-efficacy, learning burnout, and career hope. Specifically, the study investigated whether the effects of preservice teachers’ career self-efficacy on their learning burnout and career hope are mediated by outcome expectations. The identification of a mediating effect would suggest that teacher education centers must focus on promoting positive outcome expectations in preservice teachers. In addition, the study explored whether the professional identity of preservice teachers moderates the relationship of outcome expectations with learning burnout and career hope. A significant level of moderation would indicate that during teacher training, the professional identity of preservice teachers must be considered in addition to positive outcome expectations. Although preservice teachers enroll in teacher education programs, they may face challenges related to learning adaptation if they do not identify themselves as future teachers. Because professional identity is crucial, this study further investigated the factors influencing preservice teachers’ identity as teachers as well as their identity as specialists in their department-related fields.
This study conducted a questionnaire survey; a total of 928 responses were collected, of which 915 were regarded as valid after data screening (effective questionnaire rate, 98.60%). In terms of sex distribution, 74% of the respondents were women. Regarding grade distribution, 23% of the respondents were sophomores, 25% were juniors, 23% were seniors, 7% were deferred graduates, and 22% were graduate students. Data analysis was performed using SPSS (version 21.0), AMOS (version 21.0), and PROCESS (version 3.5). Confirmatory factor analysis was performed first to test the fitness of the assessment model for each scale. Subsequently, a path model was used to explore the factors mediating the relationships between career self-efficacy, outcome expectations, learning burnout, and career hope. The results revealed that outcome expectations exerted a significant mediating effect on the other variables. Moreover, professional identity exerted marked effects on outcome expectations, learning burnout, and career hope, with no disordinal interaction with learning burnout and career hope. Preservice teachers with high career self-efficacy and strong professional identity as teachers also exhibited high career outcome expectation. Preservice teachers with a stronger professional identity as teachers, even if they exhibited lower career self-efficacy, had higher outcome expectations than did those with higher career self-efficacy and a stronger professional identity as specialists in their department-related fields. Furthermore, preservice teachers with a stronger professional identity as teachers and higher outcome expectations experienced lower levels of learning burnout and higher levels of career hope. Preservice teachers with a stronger professional identity as teachers displayed adaptive motivational patterns compared with those with a stronger professional identify as specialists in their department-related fields. Finally, future perspective and perseverance were identified to be two discriminative variables influencing the professional identity of preservice teachers.
On the basis of the aforementioned findings, this study proposes the following recommendations. Expectation functions as a mediator of career development; however, expectation is shaped by reasonable introspection and anticipated challenges. Therefore, teacher education programs must focus on helping preservice teachers establish reasonable career expectations. The present study does not advocate for teacher education programs; instead, it provides a reminder that students should be certain about their career goals. Students whose values are consistent with the role of a teacher must pursue a teaching career, whereas those who have strong affinity toward and high efficiency in their department-related professions must pursue relevant career options. Finally, the training of preservice teachers includes the development of their professional identity. However, this is a long-term development process, and the training process varies across teacher education schools. Therefore, schools may establish a database of school affairs to record the characteristics and features of students (preservice teachers) through longitudinal data collection.

Keywords:career hope, career self-efficacy, profession identity, outcome expectation, burnout

《Full Text》 檔名

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APA FormatChen, C.-C., & Hung, C.-H. (2023). A man who knows what he wants — The moderation effects of professional identity on career self-efficacy, outcome expectation, learning burnout, and career hope in preservice teachers. Journal of Research in Education Sciences, 68(1), 1-33.