This chapter discusses the extent of religious beliefs in influencing students’ motivations for entering teacher education (TE) and becoming a teacher, and their perceptions about teaching and career aspirations. The study applies the Factors Influencing Teaching-Choice framework (FIT-Choice) (Watt & Richardson, 2007), which was psychometrically validated in the Indonesian context (Suryani, Watt & Richardson, 2016). Students’ religious beliefs and practices were assessed using the Religious Commitment Inventory (RCI-10) (Worthington et al., 2003). Over 800 final-year undergraduate TE students participated in the study. Connections between religion and career aspirations were confirmed by differences identified between religious groups. Muslim participants experienced the strongest religious influence to enter TE and tended to be more “devout” than Protestant and Catholic participants. Highly religious participants were likely to view teaching as a profession with a high social status and therefore exert more effort into teaching and persist in their careers. Perceptions of teaching as a highly skilled and professional occupation would predict students’ intentions and efforts to improve their knowledge and skills. Current teacher education policies should consider factors influencing TE students’ career aspirations, including religious beliefs, perceptions of teaching as requiring high expertise and knowledge, and satisfaction with their choice of profession.
Suryani, A. (2020). The role of religious beliefs in teacher education students' career aspirations. In Suryani, A., Tirtowalujo, I. & Masalam, H. (Eds). Preparing Indonesian Youth: A Review of Educational Research. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. Paperback ISBN: 978-90-04-39364-6 Hardback ISBN: 978-90-04-39365-3 E-ISBN: 978-90-04-43645-9 Publication date August 2020