Exploring the impact of career models on teacher motivation
IIPE. Instituto Internacional de Planificación de la Educación
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The Education for All movement has resulted in a rapid expansion in primary school places across the developing world. However, this expansion has not been accompanied by an equally rapid increase in the number of qualified teachers. It has led, instead, to the recruitment of increasing numbers of unqualified teachers, lowering the status and worsening the working conditions of teachers in many countries. Some authors have been prompted to talk of a crisis in teacher motivation. This literature review explores the contribution of teacher career models to this motivational crisis, and asks whether a change in their administration could improve the quality of teaching in schools by motivating teachers to improve, and increasing the appeal of the profession. This is in line with the suggested post-2015 education goal that ‘By 2030, all governments ensure that all learners are taught by qualified, professionally-trained, motivated and well-supported teachers’. The most common career structure in both developed and developing countries is the single salary structure, in which teachers’ pay increases yearly, irrespective of teaching quality. The only other factors taken into account in calculating pay are additional qualifications, and promotions to administrative positions. Problems with this structure include: a lack of correlation between the factors used for promotion (certificates and experience) and teacher effectiveness; a lack of accountability for quality of teaching; the demotivating effect on colleagues of less-dedicated teachers receiving automatic promotion; a flat salary structure that makes the profession less attractive to the most able; a lack of career progression opportunities for teachers who do not wish to leave the classroom; and the limited sense of self-determination among teachers. In a search for alternative structures, this report addresses the following research questions by reviewing psychological research on motivation, and examining the models of teacher career structure used in different countries: How are motivation and the organization of careers linked, What are the specific problems linked to the organization of teacher careers in developing countries?, What are the different models of teacher career organization around the world?, Which are the most successful, according to the available research?, What are the lessons for the design and implementation of career ladder systems?