Teacher Labor Markets in Developed Countries

Sanford Institute of Public Policy, Duke University, USA.
The Future of Children (Impact Factor: 1.98). 02/2007; 17(1):201-17. DOI: 10.1353/foc.2007.0006
Source: PubMed


Helen Ladd takes a comparative look at policies that the world's industrialized countries are using to assure a supply of high-quality teachers. Her survey puts U.S. educational policies and practices into international perspective.
Ladd begins by examining teacher salaries—an obvious, but costly, policy tool. She finds, perhaps surprisingly, that students in countries with high teacher salaries do not in general perform better on international tests than those in countries with lower salaries. Ladd does find, however, that the share of underqualified teachers in a country is closely related to salary. In high-salary countries like Germany, Japan, and Korea, for example, only 4 percent of teachers are underqualified, as against more than 10 percent in the United States, where teacher salaries, Ladd notes, are low relative to those in other industrialized countries.
Teacher shortages also appear to stem from policies that make salaries uniform across academic subject areas and across geographic regions. Shortages are especially common in math and science, in large cities, and in rural areas. Among the policy strategies proposed to deal with such shortages is to pay teachers different salaries according to their subject area. Many countries are also experimenting with financial incentive packages, including bonuses and loans, for teachers in specific subjects or geographic areas.
Ladd notes that many developed countries are trying to attract teachers by providing alternative routes into teaching, often through special programs in traditional teacher training institutions and through adult education or distance learning programs. To reduce attrition among new teachers, many developed countries have also been using formal induction or mentoring programs as a way to improve new teachers' chances of success.
Ladd highlights the need to look beyond a single policy, such as higher salaries, in favor of broad packages that address teacher preparation and certification, working conditions, the challenges facing new teachers, and the distribution of teachers across geographic areas.

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    • "The idea of different salaries for different subjects is gaining support. Ladd (2007) found mathematics and science teacher shortages are common in large cities and remoter rural areas, and argues that this could be tackled by relaxing the policies that make salaries uniform across subjects and location. West (2013) analysing Florida " s database of public school teachers found that science and mathematics teachers earn the same average salary as those teaching English (not a shortage subject), but on leaving can earn 12-15 per cent more. "

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    • "If we want to retain new teachers, particularly those teaching in inner-city schools, we must introduce them to the profession humanely, in ways that engender selfesteem , competence, collegiality, and professional stature. (p.1) Ladd (2007) notes that attrition figures in the UK range from 15-22% within the early years of teaching and in a survey of more than 1,000 departing teachers in England (reasons for leaving the profession), 45% of respondents cited heavy workload, 36% government initiatives, and 35% identified stress as a key factor. According to Herbert (2005), attrition has an adverse effect on the beginning teacher, the profession (which is both aging and underresourced ) and the school students whose education is punctuated by a series of teacher changes resulting in loss of stability and continuity in their education. "
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    ABSTRACT: The 2007 "Top of the Class" report on the Inquiry into Teacher Education in Australia found teacher induction failure and high attrition rates were endemic in most Australian states. Mentoring was advocated as an important mechanism for countering the debilitating drain attrition exerted on the profession (more than 30% within the first years in most developed nations). Reciprocal mentoring represents a departure from traditional mentoring arrangements in that it aligns two professionals with skills of equivalent importance and stature but in different discipline areas/domains. The importance of "reciprocity" in sustaining mentoring relationships is a distinctive theme in the conceptual framework for the model. In 2010 Graduate Diploma pre-service teachers from visual arts, music, drama and mathematics will be matched to mentors in reciprocal mentoring residencies in the first formal study of the mentoring innovation. This paper acts in the capacity of a prolegomena, describing the work undertaken to date and over-viewing the reciprocal mentoring which will occur in 2010.
    05/2010; 35(3). DOI:10.14221/ajte.2010v35n3.2
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    • "Schools outside of the United States can also provide useful insights because of the great variation in approaches seen throughout the world. In a review of the research on teacher labor markets in developed countries, Ladd (2007), for instance, finds that in most developed countries teachers' relative pay is higher than in the United States. That being said, she finds no clear relationship across countries between teacher salaries and student achievement. "

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