This study explored the potential acceptability of performance pay to new teachers by investigating attitudes toward performance pay of students preparing to be teachers. Focus groups and a survey of students preparing to be teachers at a large U.S. university were conducted. Most students expressed a preference for some form of performance pay and tended to prefer pay based on individual performance or pay for knowledge and skill development instead of pay based on school performance. Personality traits and work values were not related to preferences for different performance pay approaches or performance pay in general. These results suggest that teachers' experiences rather than personality or work values may be the dominant influences on attitudes toward performance pay. This implies that beginning teachers may view performance pay more favorably than their more experienced colleagues, suggesting a strategy of applying performance pay to new teachers only.

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