Career choice and retention of nineteen secondary science education graduates were studied using a biographical approach. Autobiographical papers written as preservice teachers and rewritten as career teachers were compared for intrinsic reasons for vocational choice. Comparisons were made between early vocation teachers and those who chose science teaching later in their higher education studies. Participants beginning college as science education majors wanted to teach for student learning and to shape their students' lives. Participants beginning college as science majors wanted to continue learning science while also enhancing their students' science literacy. Ten participants' data from both groups showed great similarities in self as teacher across autobiographical papers. Teaching for impact on students appeared to support retention in this study. Implications for development and potential retention of future science teachers are discussed. © 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers.
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