The Bottom Line: Learn more about teachers!
The Full Story:
- A University of Pennsylvania study found that 33% of teachers leave within the first three years of beginning their careers and 46% leave within the first five. The numbers have been increasing since the late 1980s.
- In 2009, there were 7.2 million teachers in the United States. Almost 3 million taught at the elementary and middle school levels. The rest taught at the postsecondary, secondary, preschool, and kindergarten levels; in special education; and as other teachers and instructors.
- Maria Montessori was a famous Italian medical doctor and education reformer who invented the still popular Montessori method. She argued that teachers needed to respect a child’s independence and his or her unique path of psychological development, and that teachers ought to give students freedom to work with hands-on projects. In short, she advocated a “discovery” model of truth over a traditional “instructional” model.
- In colonial times and into the early decades of the 19th century, most teachers were men. From the 1820s to 1830s, as more public schools (called Common Schools) were built and more men were siphoned off by more prestigious professions, women began to take over the schoolroom. The feminization of teaching not only change how society perceived women, but how women perceived themselves.
- In the modern era, the number of males entering the teaching profession has grown by 26%. The number of women entering teaching has increased at over twice that rate. If the trend continues, researchers conclude that soon 8 out of 10 teachers in America will be female.