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high school teachers

Mon Mar 18 10:47:02 EST 1996

>re higher degrees for teachers; why would someone who has just 
>up to ten years unpaid work in a university want to spend more of their 
>time being poorly paid in another educational institution (high school) 
>where they have even lower social status, and education is even less 
>valued than in universities?
>Romola Davenport

Why?  Because a PhD doesn't get you a job in a university, and even two 
post docs doesn't often help.  I know of a recent job search which 
required the candidate to teach 3 courses a term, manage masters and 
undergraduate research, bring in outside funding, and have postdoctoral 
experience, all for the princely sum of $30,000 a year.  There were over 
50 qualified applicants for that job (more than that who applied even 
though they didn't have the postdoctoral experience).  Contrast that the 
the high school teachers in a nearby school system (granted-a very good 
one-few pay this well), who work long hours, but not "lab hours", have 
their summers off, and start at $28,000 a year, requiring only a BS in 
education.  I don't know what the competition is like for these jobs, 
but the fact that there are many many more qualified PhDs in the US than 
there are jobs at universities means that the market may dictate that 
high school teachers have a higher level of education. And social 
status?  Professors don't have much.   Besides, as anyone who teaches at 
a small state college will tell you, oftentimes this isn't much better 
than teaching high school!  (My husband's state university requires him 
to take attendance at the beginning of every class-students can fail for 
not showing up 5 times in a semester.  In both of our opinions-if I 
student needs this kind of supervision to attend class-what is he/she 
doing in college in the first place?).

My 45 cents worth (the week is not off to a good start!)
Julia Frugoli
Dartmouth College

visiting grad student at
Texas A&M University
Department of Biological Sciences
College Station, TX 77843
FAX 409-847-8805

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