Education Market Research Finds Teachers Feel Undervalued: According to a major new piece of education market research, carried out by the OECD, fewer than a third of teaching professionals in developed countries feel that their profession is valued or the importance of their role recognised. England faired reasonably well in comparison to some other European countries – with 35% of teachers feel valued by the public, compared, for instance, only one in twenty (5%) in France. The OECD research examined the working lives of 100,000 teachers and head teachers across 34 education systems globally.
Across the world, only 31% of teachers feel their work is valued by society on a wider scale – although there were wide-ranging differences from nation to nation. Across large parts of Asia, including South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Abu Dhabi, teaching is seen as a well-respected career with teachers feeling confident in the status of their job; in Europe, Finland was the only country where a majority felt this way.
England and the Netherlands were the next best performing countries in Europe, with France, Spain and Sweden all returning figures of more than 90% of teachers who felt they were not respected by other members of society.
Despite the results, job satisfaction was generally high – with a large majority stating that, if given the option, they would choose to go in to teaching again.
In addition, the research also provides an overview of different working weeks; with teachers in England working 46 hours per week during term – this is well above the international average of only 38 hours. Only teachers in Singapore (48 hours) and Japan (54 hours) work longer weeks on average during term time.
In stark contrast, teachers in Italy work for an average of only 29 hours per week during term time, with those in Finland working for 32 and South Korean teacher working less than the average at 37 hours per week; South Korea has some of the best results in the international Pisa tests.
Perhaps oddly, the research also found that South Korean teachers lost around 14% of lesson time to bad behaviour – slightly more than those in England (11%), Estonia (9%) and Poland (8%), but less than in Brazil (20%), Singapore (18%) and Japan (15%).
There were also reports of regular aggressive behaviour towards teachers in Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Sweden – including intimidation and verbal abuse.
In terms of deployment, countries such as South Korea, the Netherlands and Chile – all of whom perform well for their respective regions – deploy the more experienced teachers to work with pupils who are more disadvantaged. This trend is the opposite in England.
According to the research, the average teacher across the globe is a 43-year-old woman. Apart from Singapore, England has the youngest teaching force of any other education system included in the survey; and the lowest number of teachers over 60 of any developed country.
We welcome comments from all our readers - so please feel free to express your views in the space below. You can also sign up to receive posts directly to your inbox, free of charge. Additionally, education professionals may be interested in joining our community.