Problem Statement:Having a profession that is respected by the society and earns a good income plays a key role for individuals to be happy and productive adults. The responsibility of teacher education, which is culturally regarded as a privileged profession in Turkey, is given to four-year teacher education programs. Positive attitudes towards teaching profession and self-esteem play an important role for teachers in successfully performing their profession. There are numerous factors that affect individuals’ vocational self-esteem. Some of them are gender, the graduates’ employment-chance of the specific programs and the attitude of the society towards the specific teacher education program. Literature emphasizes the need to examine vocational self-esteem possessed by the various professional groups and the college students. The aim of this research was to contribute to existing literature by providing information about the factors that affected vocational self-esteem of the first year students of Special and Physical Education Programs.
Purpose of the Study:This study aimed at investigating the vocational self-esteem of pre-service teachers who are attending at Special Education and Physical Education Programs in different regions of Turkey.
Methods: “Personal Information Form” designed by the researchers and a Arıcak Vocational Self-Esteem Scale were used in the study. The population of the research was consisted of the universities with Special Education Programs. Sample group was made up by the first year students of Special Education and Physical Education and Sport Teacher Programs of these universities. Descriptive statistics and survey method were used in this study.
Findings and Results: The results revealed that teacher candidates’ majors, gender, familial income level, having an individual with a disability in the family were not determining factors for teacher-candidates’ vocational self-esteem. It was found that male students of Physical Education and Sports Teacher Programs had higher vocational self-esteem.
Conclusions and Recommendations: As a conclusion, Vocational self-esteem characteristics of the teacher-candidates of Special Education Programs and Physical Education Programs showed similarity to those in the literature. We could not detect any significant differences between the two programs. Considering the foundations of the vocational self-esteem of the teacher-candidates are laid from the first year at the teaching programs, it is essential to increase the quality of teacher education institutions and to conduct different studies that utilize variety of research methods.
Key words: Vocational self-esteem, pre-service teacher education, physical education, special education.