Solving the Nation’s Teacher Shortage

Mallory Dwinal, Christensen Institute, Mar 18, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes
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This white paper has two separate and very distinct parts. In the first part it analyzes the causes of teacher shortages, noting that women are migrating to higher-paying professions outside teaching, that technology in other traditionally women's sectors such as nursing and accounting, and that women staying in the profession prefer not to relocate. These could all be addressed simply by paying teachers more money, which would both retain staff and convince districts of the need to increase teacher productivity through technology. The second part is more convincing, pointing to the utility of online learning in addressing teacher shortages. This is an argument that has been made with respect to other skilled professions. The report states, "in the same way that online learning unbundles the education experience to make it more flexible for students, it also unbundles the teacher labor market to make it more flexible for teachers and districts." But remember that with higher skills there is still an expectation that higher pay would follow. 24 page PDF.

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