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Who Wants to Be a Teacher? Why? Underlying Causes of Declining Enrollments in Teacher Education Programs by Hansol Woo – AJE Forum

Photograph by Flickr Consumer C.C. Chapman

Who needs to be a instructor? Why? I would really like to reply these questions specializing in highschool students who are instantly associated to the enrollments in instructor education schemes. First, we should always perceive the pipeline to the educating career in order to recruit candidates in instructor education schemes. Second, most prior research heavily targeted on either school students already enrolled in instructor education schemes or on novice academics who simply began their educating jobs (Park & Byun, 2015). Third, the questions and answers are associated with not solely the quantity of the potential provide of students in instructor education schemes (e.g., the enrollment quantity) but in addition the quality of such provide (e.g., high-performing candidates). Subsequently, I can talk about the underlying causes of declining enrollments in instructor education schemes by analyzing which 15-year-old students need to be a instructor and the the reason why. I additionally examine instructor insurance policies between america and other nations because the comparative perspective can present details about “what should be done” and “what can be done” in the USA based mostly on precise policy implementation overseas. Then, the relevant evidence in different nations will inform future instructions of the U.S. instructor policies.

There’s little research on high-school students’ career expectation in the direction of the educating career, particularly in america, apart from a couple of cross-national studies using the Programme for International Scholar Assessment (PISA) 2006. PISA is a triennial survey of 15-year-old students all over the world, focusing on students’ educational achievement in mathematics, studying, and science: PISA 2006 is the newest knowledge that provides info on occupational expectations of college students. There are two main cross-national research using this PISA 2006 knowledge. First, Park and Byun (2015) investigated the connection between students’ expectations of being a instructor at age 30 and the national contexts of the educating career, employing a two-level logit model. The authors focused 37,570 high-performing students in the 23 Group for Financial Co-operation and Improvement (OECD) nations. They found that academics’ economic status (e.g., wage) and social status (e.g., whether academics have a bachelor’s degree and are absolutely certified) are considerably associated to high-achieving college students’ expectation of turning into a instructor. Second, Borgonovi, and Guerriero (2018) analyzed what motivates high school students to want to be academics, concentrating on not solely high-achievers but in addition middle- and low-achieving students. The authors used three-level hierarchical generalized linear fashions to analyze cross-national knowledge from the PISA 2006. This research showed that academics’ working circumstances, salaries, and societal evaluations about fascinating job characteristics (e.g., respect, duty) are associated with educating career expectations of college students regardless of their educational achievement. In abstract, both cross-national studies verified that high school students are motivated to train when academics get greater salaries, respect, and better working circumstances. Based mostly on the results, each research also recommend enhancing the socio-economic standing of academics to appeal to more students to the educating career.

These findings from the 2 empirical research are in line with prior studies concentrating on school college students or starting academics in america. First, financial incentives might play an essential position in attracting school students to the educating career (Guarino, Santibanez, & Daley, 2006; Manski 1987). For example, an earlier research in the U.S. reported that the anticipated wage of academics is positively associated to whether the U.S. school graduate chooses to train (Manski, 1987). Elferset al. (2008) additionally showed that a aggressive salary might improve the attractiveness of the educating career, compared to a career in the engineering sector. Second, societal evaluations shape not only individual college students’ occupational decisions but in addition their angle in the direction of totally different careers (Roe & Ester, 1999). It’s because social standing can have an effect on the attractiveness of totally different occupations and the worth system of students relating to occupational decisions. Third, as Han et al. (2018) identified, working circumstances matter; a quantity of student-teachers think about class measurement, workload (e.g., the quantity of annual working hours), a probability of working in disruptive lecture rooms, and availability of help employees is one of the significant elements of beginning instructor attrition (Guarino, Santibanez, & Daley, 2006; Luekens, Lyter, & Fox, 2004).

How does the educating career fare in the USA? First, the economic status of U.S. academics is comparatively low. In 2017, U.S. academics have been paid 18.7% less than comparable professionals, and the wage hole between U.S. academics and comparable professionals has grown over time (Allegretto & Mishel, 2018). For these reasons, U.S. instructor unions have started to drastically handle this problem in current years. This yr, greater than 30,000 Los Angeles academics, in the nation’s second-largest faculty district, went on strike for six faculty days to secure better working circumstances and pay. Numerous articles tackle the difficulty that academics are extra possible to work a second job due to their low wage (Startz, March 23, 2018). For example, roughly 45,000 academics in the U.S. are utilizing Airbnb to complement their common revenue (Wong, Aug 17, 2018). Uber has additionally held initiatives concentrating on faculty academics in some cities to encourage academics to think about being an Uber driver as their second job. Moreover, in 2018, U.S. academics give up jobs at the highest fee on document because the Labor Division started accumulating such knowledge in 2011 (Hackman & Morath, Dec 28, 2018). The info exhibits that academics give up their jobs at a fee of 83 per 10,000 a month on average in the last yr. Given right now’s low unemployment price, some academics have resorted to in search of more worthwhile jobs and others give up as a result of they’re annoyed by little monetary and administrative help from their communities.

“… high school students are motivated to teach when teachers get higher salaries, respect, and better working conditions”

Second, the social status of U.S. academics is comparatively low. Historically, many think about the educating career in america to be much less prestigious than different professions including regulation, drugs, and engineering (Ingersoll & Merrill, 2011). The Educating and Studying International Survey (TALIS) 2013 – a world large-scale survey aiming to provide legitimate, well timed and comparable details about instructor working circumstances and faculty learning environments – reported that solely 34% of U.S. academics consider that U.S. society values the educating career (OECD, 2014). Apparently, the U.S. average respect ranking for a instructor is, nevertheless, barely above the worldwide average. The Varkey Foundation has lately launched the International Teacher Standing Index 2018 (Dolton, Marcenaro-Gutierrez, Vries, & She, 2018), reporting how respected academics are in 35 nations around the globe. The findings reveal that U.S. academics have been rated 11th highest out of the 35 nations. Moreover, approximately 40% of mother and father in the U.S. in all probability or definitively would encourage their youngsters to turn into a instructor; this proportion ranked fifth highest among the 35 nations.

Third, in phrases of U.S. academics’ working circumstances, they are assigned to train longer hours than different nations. Results from TALIS 2013 (OECD, 2014) showed that academics in america work 45 hours a week, together with 27 hours of educating per week. This workload far exceeds the typical of 38 work hours and 19 educating hours throughout TALIS nations. As a end result, U.S. academics spend a small amount of time on lesson planning and professional improvement actions, causing the lower high quality of educating (Akiba & LeTendre, 2009). Furthermore, it’s a widespread prevalence in U.S faculties, especially in low-income areas, that academics are providing instruction in a area outdoors of their degree or certification (Akiba, LeTendre, & Scribner, 2007). Particularly, 29.7% of U.S. math academics don’t have a major in arithmetic or mathematics schooling; 36.three% of arithmetic academics are out-of-field academics in low-SES faculties; and 24.3% of out-of-field academics in high-SES faculties. These working circumstances have a destructive influence on academics’ motivation and commitment. At the similar time, low-SES students lose out on rigorous schooling in STEM fields due to the current shortages of qualified academics in “high-needs” subject areas.

In conclusion, the wage, societal standing, and work surroundings of the educating career are crucial when it comes to high school college students’ expectations to turn into academics. The present socio-economic standing and working circumstances of U.S. academics, nevertheless, would negatively affect the attraction of younger college students to instructor education schemes. Even when different insurance policies (e.g., reforming instructor schooling curriculum and recruitment methods) entice students into enrolling in instructor preparation packages, getting into and remaining in the educating career can also be dependent upon the status and dealing circumstances of faculty academics. Subsequently, growing instructor salaries, supporting academics to participate in professional improvement actions, and reforming academics’ working circumstances are important to safe more promising candidates in instructor education schemes.

This is the third and last installment of our Declining Enrollments in Teacher Education Programs Collection. The first is Challenges and Promising Prospects for Reversing the Development by Logan Rutten and Azaria Cunningham and the second is Grow Your Personal Initiative: A Journey on the Urban Teacher Pipeline by Azaria Cunningham. We invite you to be a part of our dialog by commenting under, partaking us on AJE’s social media platforms, or submitting an essay of your personal.

Hansol Woo is a Ph.D. scholar in the dual title Instructional Leadership Program and Comparative International Education at Pennsylvania State University. Previously, he acquired a Masters of Education in Instructional Administration at Seoul Nationwide University, he was a research associate at Korean Instructional Improvement Institute (KEDI). In addition, Hansol labored as affiliate supervisor in charge of training packages for college leaders at Nationwide Academy for Instructional Directors (NAEA) in South Korea. His present analysis interests embrace instructor quality and coverage in international context, and instructor skilled improvement with technological innovation.


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Akiba, M., LeTendre, G. Okay., & Scribner, J. P. (2007). Teacher high quality, opportunity gap, and nationwide achievement in 46 nations.Instructional Researcher, 36(7), 369–387.

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Wong, A. (2018, August 17). Low pay has academics flocking to the sharing financial system: One in 10 Airbnb hosts in the U.S. is a instructor, a new report exhibits. Retrieved from