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The status of teachers and how might we measure it?. Linda Hargreaves & Julia Flutter. Faculty of Education. Status …. A struggle … Loss of status excites the brain more than losing money Alain de Botton equates it with wanting to be loved

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the status of teachers and how might we measure it

The status of teachers and how might we measure it?

Linda Hargreaves & Julia Flutter

Faculty of Education

status
Status …
  • A struggle …
  • Loss of status excites the brain more than losing money
  • Alain de Botton equates it with wanting to be loved
  • ‘ sto stare …. Latin for standing in society
  • More than simple economic wealth – also determined by cultural and life style choices
  • The right to the privileges and responsibilities of citizenship – the ‘socio-legal entitlements of the individual’ (Turner, 1988)
occupational status of teachers
Occupational status of teachers

Three components (Hoyle, 2001)

  • Occupational prestige
    • public perception of the rank of teaching in a hierarchy of occupations
  • Occupational status
    • Is teaching a profession or not according to ‘knowledgeable others’?
  • Occupational esteem
    • Public regard for teachers’ care, commitment, competence

In everyday terms, status of teachers usuallymeans occupational prestige

slide5

The occupational prestige of teaching

(simplifed adaptation from Hoyle, 2001)

  • Number of children
  • Number of teachers  Limited budget
  •  Low pay

Supply of people? women: unqualified/less qualified people

  • Relationship with pupils
  • Intermediate world between childhood and adulthood
  •  Pupils might get out of control

Children as clients

All cells impinge on the image of teaching

Occupational PRESTIGE of teaching

Ambiguities in education  Diffuse roles

 diversity of outcomes

What exactly is the teacher’s knowledge and expertise?

contemporary factors likely to affect teacher status
Contemporary factors likely to affect teacher status
  • Economic downturn – job satisfaction and pay
    • USA (2012 Metlife survey)
      • job satisfaction at lowest ebb for 20 years
      • 75% say schools have faced budget cuts
      • 67% say schools faced teacher redundancies
      • 60% report increased class sizes
    • Similar story in Europe : Cuts in Spain, Greece, Italy, Portugal
    • ‘Status panic’ in France
    • But salaries have risen in Czechia, Poland, Slovakia, Iceland
more changes likely to influence status
More changes likely to influence status
  • Prescriptive teaching methods (teachers as generalists)
  • Emphasis on accountability through tests, inspections, league tables
  • Rise of private tutoring
  • Teacher mobility and migration – an increasing phenomenon
  • Feminisation of the profession
    • negative correlation between salaries : GDP and % women to all primary teachers but not in Central Africa – UNESCO 2010
  • Influence of the media?
  • Teacher voice
a range of states of teacher status
A range of states of teacher status
  • New Zealand – status depends on ‘fame, fortune and power’
  • Ghana – low pay, low living standards, but considerable investment in engaging young people in teaching
  • Finland – teaching considered top career over other professions; highly competitive; women enjoy high status in Finland
  • India – rapid decline in teacher status when state education introduced. Role diffusion a problem – e.g. teachers to promote family planning
  • Egypt – teachers despised; very poorly paid; private tutoring seriously undermines status
  • Spain – primary teachers enjoy higher status than their secondary counterparts
the media effect but in england press reporting has changed since the 1990s
The media effect …but in England, press reporting has changed since the 1990s
  • ‘I think .. teachers get a better press than they think they do. I think they get more exposure than many other public servants, for good reason, but I think that the cliché that the media represents teachers in a bad light .. is a bit anachronistic now’(Education Correspondent - ‘Quality’ daily paper)

Changes in news reporting since 1990s (Hansen, 2009)

  • Grammatical change (from objects to subjects)
  • Lexical change (from confrontational to promotional language)
  • ‘Teacher’ now carries powerful positive connotations
  • Education news now prominent and high status
  • Only other profession close to ‘teacher’ in headlines was ‘doctor’
how can we assess teacher status
How can we assess teacher status?
  • Several contextual layers to take into account
  • National characteristics of education
    • Establishment? Stability? universal primary education?
  • Unions - how well placed to assess teacher status?
  • Possibility of two questionnaires according to state of education
  • Use of McArthur ten rung ladder as ‘litmus test’ ?
  • Use of comparative ratings
  • Perceptions of change in teacher status over time
  • Relative status of kindergarten, primary and secondary teachers
conceptual framework from distal to proximal contexts
Conceptual framework: from distal to proximal contexts

ISSUES RELEVANT TO STATUS

CONTEXTUAL LAYER

slide14

Look at thisladder . If a veryhigh status occupationwasonthe top rung, and a verylow status occupationonthebottomrung, whichrungwouldteachingsitonin yourlocal area / region / nationalcontext?

High Status

Occupation

High Status

Occupation

High Status

Occupation

Local

Regional

National

Low Status

Occupation

Low Status

Occupation

Low Status

Occupation

perceptions of change in teacher status over time
Perceptions of change in teacher status over time
  • Years could be significant event (change of government, major educational reform) or just equal intervals as shown
main topics to be co nsidered
Main Topics to be considered

National level

  • Demand and supply of teachers - mobility and migration
  • Entry qualifications and competition
  • Respect for education
  • A voice for teachers?
  • Public and private sectors?

Education system

  • Trust and autonomy
  • Control of entry to profession
  • Recognition of advanced teaching skills
  • Pay and conditions?
    • Recruitment and retention
    • Initial and continuing professional development
    • Trust and autonomy
    • Recognition of advanced teaching skills, as defined by teachers
    • Consultation on key issues
    • Barriers to status
    • Improvements to teacher status
  • UNESCO 2012 recommends monitoring of
    • Teacher shortage
    • Teacher quality
    • Research knowledge production and communication

Recommendations from major reports

topics at each layer for consideration
Topics at each layer for consideration

Regional/local level

  • School cooperation or competition
  • Provision of local training for teachers
  • Relationships with community
  • Opportunities for research

School

  • Leadership style
  • Trust and responsibility
  • Internal relations

Individual teacher

  • Self efficacy, commitment, motivation
concluding comments
Concluding comments
  • Hoyle’s determinants of teacher status remain valid over time and place although they vary in impact from place to place
  • The achievement of universal primary education should raise not lower teacher status, if teachers are trained
  • Training and professional development, and greater competition to train as a teacher, will promote teacher status
  • Being involved in research is now perceived (in England) as status raising
  • Teachers need a voice to reveal their professionalism as well as basic needs to make the public more aware of their responsibilities and expertise
teacher organisations
Teacher organisations
  • are uniquely well placed, being in touch authentically with individual teachers and with government ministers
  • to promote teacher voice
  • to collaborate with governments on reforms
  • to increase public awareness of teachers’ work and expertise
  • to make this first step in consulting on the determinants of teacher status, how they may vary with national and local conditions
  • and to bring them to the fore
slide24

Thank you!

Merci bien!