ERIC Number: ED498327
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Reference Count: 36
Misdiagnosing the Teacher Quality Problem. CPRE Policy Briefs. RB-49
Ingersoll, Richard M.
Consortium for Policy Research in Education
This issue of CPRE Policy Briefs summarizes the findings on issues related to teacher quality in the chapter by the author in the book, "The State of Education Policy Research" (Cohen, Fuhrman, Mosher, Eds., 2007). This report also draws on discussions that took place during a summer, 2006, policy briefing on teacher labor-market issues held in Chicago and sponsored by the Spencer Foundation. In this brief, the author briefly discusses three related diagnoses and their attendant prescriptions: restrictive occupational entry barriers; teacher shortages; and underqualified/underprepared teachers. These diagnoses are not the only explanations for the problem of low quality of teachers and teaching. Nor are these views universally held--indeed, each is the subject of much contention--and proponents of one are at times opponents of another. But all are prominent views, all are part of the conventional wisdom as to what ails teaching, and all have had an impact on research, reform, and policy. The thesis of this brief, however, is that each viewpoint is largely misinformed or misconstrued. The author's theoretical perspective is drawn from the sociology of organizations, occupations and work. His operating premise, drawn from this perspective, is that to fully understand issues of teacher quality requires examining the character of the teaching occupation and the nature of the organizations in which teachers work. A close look at the best data available from this perspective, he argues, shows that each of these views involves a wrong diagnosis and a wrong prescription. In the sections of this report, he reviews each of the above views and explains why each conveys an inaccurate explanation of--and solutions to--the problems of quality plaguing the teaching occupation.
Descriptors: Teacher Shortage, Teacher Effectiveness, Knowledge Base for Teaching, Teacher Qualifications, Elementary School Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Educational Change, Comparative Analysis, Academic Achievement, Beginning Teacher Induction, Teacher Recruitment, Mentors, Educational Policy
Consortium for Policy Research in Education. University of Pennsylvania, 3440 Market Street Suite 560, Philadelphia, PA 19104. Tel: 215-593-0700; Fax: 215-573-7914; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.cpre.org/Publications/Publications.htm
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Policy Research in Education.
Identifiers - Location: United States