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The passion of teaching : learning from an older generation of teachers

Santoro, Ninetta and Pietsch, M and Borg, T (2012) The passion of teaching : learning from an older generation of teachers. Journal of Education for Teaching, 38 (5). pp. 585-595. ISSN 0260-7476

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This article reports on a qualitative small-scale case study that investigated what pre-service teachers learned from a former generation of teachers about the context and nature of teaching and teacher education during the 1950s and 1960s. Data comprised semi-structured interviews and a grounded theoretical approach was used to analyse the data. A process of coding and re-coding of the data resulted in the identification of emergent patterns and broad overarching themes and subthemes. Findings suggest that the pre-service teachers drew inspiration from the older teachers’ emotional connection to the profession, and their own passion for teaching developed or intensified as they came to understand teaching as a rewarding lifelong career. It is suggested that mentor relationships between pre-service teachers and those from an older generation have the potential to support novice teachers in developing a passion for teaching and, ultimately, resilience and longevity in the profession. Recommendations are made for the inclusion in teacher education of opportunities for intergenerational learning through such relationships.