ERIC Number: ED358579
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Mar
A Microeconomic Approach to the Issue of Quality in the Teaching Force.
This study approaches the issue of quality in the teaching force using a microeconomic framework that applies the concept of "opportunity cost." As teaching is a low-paid profession, accepting a teaching position may be associated with high opportunity costs (foregone benefits) for more academically talented college students because they could enter other occupations that offer higher salaries and better working conditions. This study examines the extent to which the perceived pecuniary and nonpecuniary opportunity costs associated with entering teaching affect the quality distribution of the teaching force. Methodology involved the development of a path model of occupational choice, administration of a survey to 532 college students, and path analysis. Findings suggest that the perceived pecuniary and nonpecuniary opportunity costs associated with entering teaching are causally related to the quality problem. Opportunity costs provide an important theoretical reference point for understanding the issue of quality. Therefore, teacher policy should focus on reducing the opportunity costs of entering teaching by increasing the overall level of teacher salaries and improving the working conditions in order to attract more academically able graduates to the teaching profession. Four figures and three tables are included. (Contains 38 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Career Choice, College Students, Elementary School Teachers, Elementary Secondary Education, Higher Education, Occupational Aspiration, Quality of Working Life, Secondary School Teachers, Teacher Employment, Teacher Recruitment, Teacher Salaries, Teacher Supply and Demand, Teaching Conditions, Teaching (Occupation), Work Environment
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Education Finance Association (Albuquerque, NM, March 1993.