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ERIC Number: EJ1105867
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2156-1400
Strengthening a Country by Building a Strong Public School Teaching Profession
West, Kazuko Ito
Journal of Mathematics Education at Teachers College, v4 n1 p67-79 Spr-Sum 2013
What would be one of the most sensible ways for a country to invest to achieve maximal economic growth? A recent study (Chetty, Friedman, & Rockoff, 2011) by economists at Harvard and Columbia Universities shows that better teacher quality results in significantly higher students' lifetime earnings. And investing in public school teachers results in an expanding skilled work force, the foundation for maximal economic growth. Although Japan's economic growth has declined in recent decades, Japan has been and still is one of the several countries successfully educating students to participate in a large, highly skilled work force that generates a high per capita GDP. In this paper, characteristics of Japanese public schools that have contributed to attracting and retaining superior teachers will be described from the perspective of a high school mathematics teacher with 20 years teaching experience in Japanese public high schools and more than 13 years teaching in the United States; and more recently as department chairperson, hiring mathematics teachers for a private, residential high school. The paper will explore how better to select teachers with reference to actual practice in Japan and in the US and will include an analysis of actual qualifying/employment examinations and their outcomes. Prospects to foster and maintain a top tier, public school teaching profession that will expand the high skilled population and counteract "brain drain" for a developing country will be discussed. [This paper was originally presented by the author at the 5th International Conference on Science and Mathematics Education in Developing Countries, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 2012. It was published as "Strengthening a country by building a strong public school teaching profession," by K. I. West, 2013, "Journal of Project Research," 8, pp. 85-101. Copyright by Waseda University. Reprinted with permission.]
Program in Mathematics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University. 525 West 120th Street Box 210-M, New York, NY 10027. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Secondary Education; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Finland; Japan; Michigan; New York (New York); South Korea
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment; Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A