Low commitment to teaching amongst teachers is a problem facing the teaching profession in many countries. Gender might be an important factor in explaining what kinds of prospective teachers are attracted to teaching. This empirical study examined the relationship between student–teachers’ gender, gender roles and commitment to teaching within the context of a large, university-based teacher education program in Tanzania. A self-report questionnaire was administered, comprising commitment to teaching items, gender as a demographic variable and items from Bem sex role inventory (BSRI). Cluster analysis on the masculine and feminine scale of the BSRI indicated three clusters: (1) highly androgynous students with high scores on both masculine and feminine scales, (2) medium androgynous students with relatively high scores on both masculine and feminine scales, and (3) low androgynous students with low scores in relation to the other two groups on both masculine and feminine scales of the BSRI. More female than male student–teachers reported to be highly androgynous. Covariance analysis showed that gender roles were significantly related to commitment to teaching and to intention to enter the teaching profession. Highly androgynous student–teachers reported significantly more commitment to teaching and higher intentions to enter the teaching profession compared to medium and low androgynous student–teachers. No significant relationships were found between gender, on the one hand, and commitment to teaching and the intention to enter the teaching profession, on the other hand. Findings are discussed in the context of teacher and teacher education in Tanzania.
- Commitment to teaching
- Gender role