In the last few decades as explained by Corcoran (2007), more women have been moving away from the art to the science-related courses and this means an expansion of their careers and professions away from teaching. Women are in the male-dominated fields as well and hence very few are left into the teaching career. There has also been a change in notion of women putting their career first instead of family and marriage which made teaching a favorable career for them. Many are concentrating on building their careers first as explained by Keller, et al (2011) and hence are free to roam into any other profession other than teaching. In the last few decades, the higher level of education and the gender equality policies and laws have allowed for women to receive better pay than is the case with the teaching career whose pay still lags behind (Niemi, Toom & Kallioniemi, 2016). This has enticed more women to better careers and hence leaving teaching. I support the argument by Corcoran (2007) on the fact that the high quality of teachers has been on a decline due to the reduction of females in the teaching field, and will only be improved with changes in teaching and education policies.
The quality of teachers is determined by the quality of those entering into this particular career. With the lack of proper pay and compensation incentives in the teaching career, the bets students from colleges with the highest IQs are moving into careers that reward their expertise and IQ. This leaves the relatively weaker students to pursue a career in teaching (Niemi, Toom & Kallioniemi, 2016). This therefore translates to the teachers being of lower quality and very few of higher quality. The fact that teaching is not viewed as a serious career with better rewards not only financially but intellectually and even being recognized has discouraged people from venturing into this field. Graduates that are highly motivated with better attitude are seeking highly recognized and celebrated professions such as medical and legal careers (Corcoran, 2007). Those without ambition and hence of lower quality are the ones left to go into the teaching profession and this affects event he quality of teaching.
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According to Corcoran (2007), the quality of teaching has fallen over time with the move of females from the traditional teaching career to other professions. This has reduced the number of high quality teachers. This is in addition to the lack of a clear definition of “quality teachers” and hence the lack of standards leads to lack of best teachers in the career. The teaching career choses graduates even if they are not the best ones to enter into teaching career for lack of alternative as they have no quality standards set. Corcoran further explains that the lack of higher pay among the teachers compared to other fields with even less compensation measures affects the number of people of high quality taking the teaching career. Young people are moving into careers where they receive high pay, more compensation measures and even prospects of moving high into their careers in future, something that lacks in teaching (Corcoran, 2007).
I agree with the assessment by Corcoran (2007). This is because research by Yudkevich, Altbach & Rumbley, (2015) indicates that most of the teaching fraternity is by the older people that have been in the career for a long time. The young generation uses the teaching as a wait for a better career opportunity and once they get it, they move into other professions. Those that end up in the teaching career full time are not the ones that performed the best even in their college education (Yudkevich, Altbach & Rumbley, 2015). This assessment is however only the case in the nations where they have failed in prioritizing teaching as one of the best careers. If more incentives are put towards this career, then only the best graduates would be entering this profession and hence the quality of teaching that is being sought after will be easily provided to the students as is the case in other nations.
Policy makers in a country like USA for example should adopt the methods employed in nations such as Finland where teaching is the best career (Sahlberg, 2015). The policymakers need to put teaching as a number one career and this means choosing only the best college graduates to enter into the teaching career. This will involve increasing the current pay that teachers receive as this is one of the incentives to any career. If teachers are paid highly, then more high performing graduates will join and hence the quality of teaching will improve. The other incentive is eliminate the traditional notion of teaching being a female-oriented career and hence if fewer females are joining it, the field ends up in a dire need. All genders should be encouraged to join if the quality of education is to be improved. This means more sensitization and empowerment of the college graduates into the field.
- Corcoran, S. (2007). Long-run trends in the quality of teachers: Evidence and implications for policy. Education Finance and Policy, 395-407.
- Keller, F., Severin, F., Meera, S., Anuradha, D. & Sedere, T. (2011). Women and the Teaching Profession: Exploring the Feminisation Debate. Paris: UNESCO.
- Niemi, H., Toom, A. & Kallioniemi, A. (2016). Miracle of Education: The Principles and Practices of Teaching and Learning in Finnish Schools. New York: Springer.
- Sahlberg, P. (2015). Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? New York: Teachers College Press.
- Wankel, C. & DeFillippi, R. (2010). Being and Becoming a Management Education Scholar. New York: IAP.
- Yudkevich, M., Altbach, P. & Rumbley, L. (2015). Young Faculty in the Twenty-First Century: International Perspectives. New Jersey: SUNY Press.