This article explores the experiences of pre-service teachers who are involved in a program promoting leadership, community engagement and retreat training. It initially presents a review of the literature on the significant links between teacher commitment and quality teaching. It then describes how four significant dispositions: care, leadership, service and reflective practice, are embedded in a program entitled ‘ASPIRE’ at The University of Notre Dame Australia. The program is designed to assist pre-service teachers in recognising and developing their sense of teaching vocation. An outline of the research methodology is provided. Specifically, the research is based on qualitative data derived from focus group interviews, personal reflections and feedback sheets from pre-service teachers currently participating in three aspects of the program: the Education Society, the Community Service-Learning Program and the Retreat Leaders Training Program. Participant reflections are then considered from each of these programs. The article highlights participant responses in two categories: motivation for involvement and benefits gained. From this discussion, the article affirms the necessity for purposeful experiences in the development of a sense of teaching vocation.


Peer-reviewed, Teacher Education, Leadership Formation, Vocation, Reflective Practice

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