Join the conversation at 5pm EST on Twitter by following the #TeacherIndex hashtag!
An enormous amount of analysis has been conducted on the correlation between teacher pay and classroom outcomes. There’s also evidence that if we recruit the best graduates to teaching, outcomes improve, but I feel that something is missing. We are not fully able to understand all the aspects of this important discussion unless we also learn what people actually think a higher status and social standing for teachers can also result in better student outcomes.
For this reason we decided to commission the first ever Global Teacher Status Index, which provides insights into perceptions that the public have about teachers. In many places that our foundation works, the teacher is the biggest agent of change, but often suffers from low-esteem, low regard and is derided by “the system.” How can we expect change in the classroom if the person responsible for molding the minds of tomorrow’s leaders has no standing in their local community?
My parents were aspirational and very much wanted me to become a doctor, engineer or an accountant. Their prime motivation (at least, I believe to this day) was that these professions command respect. As worthy as they are, the role of the teacher is no less important but it’s never mentioned in the same breath as these professions; my parents never suggested I become a teacher.Status and social standing is an important issue. Why anyone would want to pursue teaching when the relative regard for the profession feels like it is so low is not obvious. So, this is why we wanted to study “status” further.
We collected half a million data points from respondents in 21 countries who told us their views on a range of issues, including:
- How teachers are respected in relation to other professions
- The social standing of teachers
- Whether parents would encourage their children to be teachers
- Whether it is perceived that children respect their teachers
- What people think teachers ought to be paid
- Whether people think teachers ought to be paid according to the performance of their pupils
- The degree to which people trust their education system
- How much teachers are trusted to deliver a good education to our children
- Whether teachers unions have too much power.
Our motivation is to widen the discussion to consider whether the way in which teachers, in general, are perceived has an impact on the performance of students in a classroom. By conducting this survey and analysis, we stand a much better chance in strengthening the profession and ultimately improve the life chances of millions of children.
Please join me in Thursday’s Edudemic Tweet Chat to discuss the findings – I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts and questions. Just tweet them with hashtag #TeacherIndex and we’ll start at Thursday 5pm EST
By Vikas Pota, Chief Executive, Varkey GEMS Foundation
You can follow along using the embedded stream below!