Many Teachers Feel Undervalued, Survey Finds

By Patrick Blumjune

LONDON — Secondary schoolteachers around the world mostly love their job, but many say they are not valued by society, according to an international survey published last week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

The Teaching and Learning International Survey questioned more than 100,000 lower secondary school teachers and about 6,500 head teachers from 34 countries on a range of issues. It followed a similar but smaller-scale survey in 2008.

Among the findings: As few as 4.9 percent of teachers in France said that society valued their work, and 5 percent in Sweden, compared with highs of 83.8 percent in Malaysia, 67.6 percent in Singapore, and 66.5 percent in Abu Dhabi and South Korea. Finland scored highest in Europe, with 58.6 percent of teachers saying they felt properly appreciated.

In the United States, the figure was roughly a third.

These figures were “shocking,” Michael Davidson, head of the schools division at the O.E.C.D., a policy consortium for developed countries that is based in Paris. If teachers felt undervalued, Mr. Davidson said at a media briefing, the best candidates would be less likely to enter the profession or stay in the job.

More>>