This study describes the analysis of the social studies autobiographies of 46 students compiled over a 15 month period. Two major questions were addressed: (1) what motivational patterns are revealed in these autobiographies and (2) what differences and similarities exist in the autobiographies of students seeking alternative and traditional certification. Both groups noted the influence of family and other significant adults, and the influence of social studies teachers, both K-12 and postsecondary, in their decisions to pursue social studies teaching careers. There were more similarities than differences between the two groups. The autobiographies echoed influences that are found in the literature, and reveal that active learning opportunities and inspiring teachers are important in motivating students to pursue careers in social studies education.


Social-Studies Education, Motivations for Teaching, and Autobiography

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.




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