Identifying teacher status, its impact and recent teacher status initiatives Publications
This research is an initial literature review to help inform a project on Teacher Status being undertaken by the New Zealand Teachers Council and the Ministry of Education.
Author(s): Marie Cameron, Research Division, Ministry of Education.
Date Published: January 2002
Stage 1 Research: Identifying teacher status, its impact and recent teacher status initiatives
This research explored:
- status in the context of teaching
- what the literature says about public perceptions and teachers' own perceptions of teacher status
- relationships between status and teacher recruitment, retention, capability and performance
- recent overseas central agency initiatives in the area of teacher status.
This report is the first phase of an initiative that is being developed by the New Zealand Teachers Council and the Ministry of Education to raise the status of teaching and improve the capability of teachers. This review of the literature was undertaken to provide greater understanding of the construction of teacher status and teacher professionalism, with a view to determining the relationship between teacher status and recruitment, retention, capability and performance.
The report first delineates different definitions and interpretations of the terms "professional," "professionalism," and teacher "status". It then explores perceptions of the status of teaching, and identifies hallmarks of professions characterised as having professional "status". Preliminary indicators of teacher status are outlined.
Attempts that jurisdictions have made to improve teacher recruitment, retention and capability are described. There are few reported measures of the impact of these initiatives on teacher status, although there have been some reported impacts upon teacher capability and performance.
The report concludes that the status of teaching is ultimately a consequence of a common commitment to: attracting capable candidates to apply for teacher education; ensuring that all programmes of teacher education are of high quality; well designed teacher induction programmes; informed school leadership; and to a professional working environment in schools that is focussed on teacher and student learning.
The leadership role that the newly established Teachers Council will need to play is emphasised to ensure that future initiatives are well aligned, so that the status of teachers and teaching is enhanced.
The review has found that there is very little empirical New Zealand research in the area of teacher status, or on teachers and their work, and identifies some areas for future directions and research.
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