Motivations to Become a Teacher in Finland, Sweden, and the United States

  • Jason Giersch University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
  • Carina Carlhed Ydhag Stockholm University, Sweden
  • Vesa Korhonen Tampere University, Finland


How does the motivation to become a teacher vary across countries? We conducted an exploratory study among aspiring teachers in three countries to explore the possibility of detecting differences in teacher motivation across education policy contexts. Using the FIT-Choice Scale developed by Watt and Richardson (2007), we found that participants in Finland and Sweden expressed different impressions of and attractions to the teaching profession. A sample from the United States revealed further differences still. Between-country differences were significant. Using these results, we suggest further comparative analyses regarding policy and the motivations of teacher candidates.

Author Biographies

Carina Carlhed Ydhag, Stockholm University, Sweden

Senior lecturer in Education, Department of Education; Associate professor (Docent) in Sociology of Education; Director of Research Studies in Education

Vesa Korhonen, Tampere University, Finland

University Lecturer, Faculty of Education and Culture

teacher motivation, comparative education, education policy