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Three Ideas, Backed by Half a Million Data Points, to Improve Teaching

October 3, 2013, 12:00 AM

If we want to get serious about improving the quality of education globally, we need to improve the quality of teachers in the classroom. 

In order to do this we need to answer the following question: Why do people become teachers and how do we attract the best teachers to the profession? 

While we study and test just about everything in education these days, it turns out that a comprehensive global study has never been conducted to understand global teacher capacity and how to improve the quality of teachers in the classroom.

That's where Vikas Pota and The Varkey GEMS Foundation have stepped in, compiling the world’s first comprehensive attempt to compare the status of teachers across the world.

You can read the Global Teacher Status index here, and get involved in the conversation on Twitter using #TeacherIndex @VarkeyGEMS as well as on Facebook here. But first, please watch the video below in which Pota points to three key takeaways from the study. These are:

Teacher Compensation

The study found that "there's worldwide consensus that teachers should be paid more," Pota says. Moreover, "the vast majority of people that we polled said that actually performance-related pay should factor into teacher salary."  

The Social Status of Teachers

Pota points out that in Europe teachers tended to be equated with social workers and librarians in terms of status. In China, on the other hand, teachers tend to be equated with doctors. 

Respect for Teachers

While there is a high level of pessimism in regard to the way students perceive teachers around the world, in China the perception is that students have great respect for teachers. 

In the video below, Pota explains the significance of measuring teacher status, given that "only after you measure it will you be able to actually improve it." 

Watch here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


Three Ideas, Backed by Half...

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