Teachers, Pay and Working Hours

Here in Malaysia, we are undoubtedly faced with a very important issue in the next few years – a need to attract a greater flow of high calibre graduates and candidates to the teaching profession to meet increasing demand, especially for International and Private Schools that intend to provide high quality holistic education without pricing outside the means of most people by employing all expatriate teachers.

There are those who believe that if the profession is to attract in the desired talent, then two issues will be critical – pay and working hours. This is said so often, without necessarily being proved, to the point where few question the validity of the statements. So, it’s particularly interesting when there is hard evidence and data flowing from analysis. The following article and infographic come from the Economist:

Economist – Daily Chart – Do Shorter Hours Or Higher Wages Make Better Teachers?

The data is fascinating as it presents significant evidence that suggests that whatever is the ‘secret juice’ for great teachers, it seems to have very little to do with either wage levels or working hours. Schools with high or low achievements in the PISA examinations are spread throughout the range of salary levels for teachers and the range of hours teachers worked.

So, if it’s not wages and it’s not working hours ………….. what is it that leads high calibre people in adequate numbers in to the education system and creates the environment within which they can support students’ high achievements?

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