Teacher professional identity and career motivation: a lifespan perspective

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2 Citations (Scopus)


A developmental perspective on teacher identity and motivation leads us to expect processes of adaption and dynamism that are responsive to context. Critical to our understanding is the consideration that identity is a multidimensional construct in which the personal and social are interwoven. We explore how extant motivational theories offer insights into the nature and correlates of teacher motivation and identity formation including self-efficacy, expectancy-value, achievement goal, and self-determination theories. We propose that these provide lenses that fruitfully highlight aspects of identity development at different points across the lifespan of a teaching career. Drawing from the canvass of lifespan developmental psychology, we propose the SOC (Selection, Optimisation, and Compensation) model of successful ageing as an overarching theoretical lens to provide new insights and a potentially integrative framework, within which diverse theoretical perspectives on teacher motivation and identity development could be coherently further explored.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch on Teacher Identity
Subtitle of host publicationMapping Challenges and Innovations
EditorsPaul A. Schutz, Ji Hong, Dionne Cross Francis
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9783319938363
ISBN (Print)9783319938356
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2018


  • Achievement goal theory
  • Expectancy-value theory
  • Self determination theory
  • Soc model
  • Teacher identity
  • Teacher motivation
  • Teacher self-efficacy
  • Teaching lifespan

Cite this

Richardson, P. W., & Watt, H. M. G. (2018). Teacher professional identity and career motivation: a lifespan perspective. In P. A. Schutz, J. Hong, & D. Cross Francis (Eds.), Research on Teacher Identity: Mapping Challenges and Innovations (1st ed., pp. 37-48). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-93836-3_4