SA Journal of Education, Vol 43, No 1 (2023)

Satisfaction, professional development, and professionalism of overseas South African teachers: The application of social cognitive career theory

Luis Miguel Dos Santos


For almost 2 decades South Korea has been 1 of the popular destinations for English teaching. Due to the development of globalisation, a great number of qualified and experienced South African teachers decided to invest their career development and personal goals in 1 of the schools in South Korea. However, due to the social and cultural differences, many teachers decided to leave their position within the first few years of their contract. The frequent departure of teachers may negatively influence the students’ achievement and the reputation of the school. The purpose of this study was to understand why South African teachers decided to stay in the same school for more than 10 successive years in South Korea. With the application of the phenomenological analysis, 37 participants were invited. Based on the Social Cognitive Career Theory, the results indicate that both the workplace and the social environment were positive for both career and personal development and growth. Government departments, policymakers, school leaders, non-profit organisational leaders, human resource planners, and researchers should regard the findings from this study as support to reform and improve their current regulations and plans for teachers’ professional development and teachers’ recruitment, particularly regarding school teachers’ recruitment and foreign teachers’ plans.

ORCiD iD of author:
Luis Miguel Dos Santos -

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