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

Ninetta Santoro, M Pietsch, T Borg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-595
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Education for Teaching
Issue number5
Early online date15 Nov 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • teacher education
  • intergenerational learning
  • mentoring
  • passion for teaching


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