An Analysis of the Teacher Shortage

Sigh.

  • report released last week by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education reveals that between the 2007-08 and 2015-16 academic years, 23% fewer people completed teacher-prep programs and colleges are taking steps to reinvent their programs to address this challenge, Education Week reports.
  • Some colleges are adjusting their curriculum to better prepare teachers by placing a greater emphasis on pedagogy, focusing on multicultural education in preparation for more diverse classrooms, developing a stronger community focus, and shifting away from standardized testing toward more performance-based assessments approach.
  • Another issue the report noted is that 21% of aspiring teachers are choosing elementary education as their field compared to 8% in early childhood education, 3% in middle school education, 7% in secondary education and 9% in special education. Specific subjects, such as math and science, attracted even fewer applicants, creating a situation where there are shortages in many areas and an overabundance of elementary school teachers overall.

It’s really no wonder this is occurring, as the profession is, in my opinion, simply not viewed very highly, nor is it considered lucrative (though this isn’t entirely true, depending).

Even more concerning is that we, essentially, have a nation of folks who want to teach our youngest students (who surely need support) and there are almost no people (or schools, really) focused on older or lifelong learners.

All of this supports my occasionally wavering but ultimately true belief in the importance of adult education. But please do read the piece to see how the decline has occurred and what schools are trying to do about it.