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Global Teacher Status Index

I just stumbled upon this report by the Varkey Gems Foundation about the status of teachers around the world. You might find it interesting and surprising in parts.

The headline bar chart is to be found on page 12 of the document, which reveals that the countries where teachers seem to be held in highest esteem are, in descending order,  China, Greece, Turkey, South Korea and New Zealand. The UK is in the middle of this particular pack of countries, just above France and below the USA. Countries where teachers seem to be held in lowest esteem are Israel, Brazil, the Czech Republic and Japan.

One thing that surprised me - given what we have been told about the Finnish education system, its highly qualified teachers and the esteem in which its profession is held - is that, according to this survey, Finnish teachers have lower status than their British counterparts. For example, in a separate table (p.17) only 20% of people would "probably encourage" their children to become teachers. the figure for the UK is 27% and for France 22%. In China the figure is almost 50%. Parents in Israel, Portugal, Brazil and Japan are least likely to encourage their children to become teachers.

Other key findings:

In the UK, when asked to what other professions teaching could be compared, the favourite answers were social worker or nurse. (The range of options was narrow on this question, however.)

In the US, Brazil, France and Turkey people thought teachers were most similar to librarians. 
In Japan people think teachers are most similar to local government managers.

It is only in China that people think of teachers as being most closely compared to doctors. In the UK, by contrast, fewer than 5% of respondents thought teachers had an equivalent status to doctors. 
On the question "do pupils respect teachers", in the UK just over one in five either agree or strongly agree. This seems a low figure, but is, very broadly, about average (see p.20). On the question "do you trust teachers to deliver a good education" the UK is above average. 
One final point: is the status of teaching in a country related to salary? As far as I can see, the report does not draw any conclusions about this, although it does give some figures on average salary. From what I can glean, there is no obvious correlation between salary and status.


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