Daniel Halliday
Oct 4 · Last update 1 mo. ago.
How can we address the world teacher shortage?
As we celebrate World Teachers’ Day the UN seek to remind us that “the right to education means the right to a qualified teacher”. But also according to the UN, 25.8 million school teachers need to be recruited to provide every child in the world with a primary education. So the fundamental question to achieve this remains, how can we deal with this teacher gap?
Stats of Viewpoints
Address the gender imbalance
0 agrees
0 disagrees
AI and Technology
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Evaluation and feedback for both teachers and schools
0 agrees
0 disagrees
Offer a means of professional development through leadership positions
0 agrees
0 disagrees
On the job induction and mentorship schemes
1 agrees
0 disagrees
Boosting salaries will inevitably boost applicants and increase job satisfaction
1 agrees
0 disagrees
Encourage more people to qualify as a teacher by offering alternatives routes into this career
1 agrees
0 disagrees
Viewpoints
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Address the gender imbalance

In the majority of countries in the world there is a gender imbalance in the teaching profession that results in their being more female teachers working in education. This imbalance becomes particularly pronounced in primary and pre-school education, around 20% of primary teachers being male in the US and only 10% in Australia. Researchers from the US have claimed that primary teaching especially is seen as less intellectual and more emotional than teaching older children, therefore deterring many men. But ultimately solving this problem would effectively, increase the talent pool and increase the number of teachers trained and available to take these much needed positions.

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AI and Technology

The future of teaching, along with many professions, will undoubtedly change with the increasing integration of AI augmentation and technology in the classroom. From aiding teachers in planning and delivering lessons more effectively, to eventual AI lead teaching and tutoring, AI could prove a big help in addressing the global teaching shortage. Companies such as VIPKID, a Beijing based English learning platform, have recently entered into a partnership with Microsoft to help promote AI education and develop future AI education solutions.

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Evaluation and feedback for both teachers and schools

Teacher turnover is a big contributing factor to the shortage of qualified teachers in the world. TNTP found that nearly half of the high performing teachers in America’s urban schools leave the job within the first five years, and 75% of these teachers said they would have stayed in their position if their issues were addressed by the school. It is therefore imperative that not just teachers but schools are also held accountable and helped to develop. A comprehensive evaluation and feedback system could provide the transparency and accountability that these leaving teachers require to solve the issues leading to them abandoning the occupation in such high numbers.

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Offer a means of professional development through leadership positions

Many people view teaching as a vocation, and some as a career dead-end, that offers little to no change of progression. This pervasive view makes attracting teachers to the field difficult. Providing teacher leadership opportunities could offer professional development solutions, while fostering a positive and competitive professional environment, allowing teachers to influence the achievement of students through their own professional in-school achievement.

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On the job induction and mentorship schemes

On of the main problems facing the teaching profession is teacher retention; due to the high stress environment of the classroom, many teachers decide to leave to profession within the first three years. Induction and mentorship programs to effectively continue teacher development on the job have been suggested as methods to address teacher retention while helping to increase teaching standards also. High-quality comprehensive professional support programs aimed at new teachers would help better equip them with the preparation and classroom management skills to effectively settle into their new position. Likewise offering them one to one support for specific classroom problems they may face when starting their career may help new teachers cope with unforeseen challenges.

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Boosting salaries will inevitably boost applicants and increase job satisfaction

There are two main problems affecting the shortage of teachers worldwide, not enough applicants and too many leaving the profession, and money speaks to both of these groups. Boosting teachers salaries will attract more applicants from a wider background and make teaching a more desirable job. It will also help keep teachers in this highly stressful career, as a good salary will help teachers feel valued and ultimately feel the job is worth the tremendous amount of energy and effort that is required.

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Encourage more people to qualify as a teacher by offering alternatives routes into this career

Teaching degrees typically take four years to achieve, either as a straight education degree or an additional qualification on top of a non-teaching bachelor’s degree. This pathway to becoming a teacher can be arduous, costly, and possibly off-putting for many from lower income backgrounds that may have a lot to bring the profession. One way to tackle this problem is to provide alternatives routes to this career path, for example the “School Direct” program offered in the UK, where you can train while working and getting paid as a teacher.

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