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Teachers’ working conditions in the U.S., Australia, and Japan

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Abstract:

Improving teacher quality is a major focus of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. However, it overlooks a critical factor for improving teacher quality—teachers’ working conditions. In contrast to the NCLB, improving teacher status and working conditions is a major focus of educational reforms in Australia and Japan. Using national data from eighth-grade mathematics teachers in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and policy documents, this study examined teachers’ workload, work assignment, and compensation in the U.S., Australia, and Japan.
The study found that U.S. teachers are assigned to teach longer hours than Australian and Japanese teachers, yet, they spend the least amount time for lesson preparation. Out-of-field teaching was also more prevalent among U.S. teachers than Australian or Japanese teachers. A comparison of compensation and benefits showed that U.S. teachers are not paid as well as Australian and Japanese teachers, and benefits in the forms of allowance and leave are limited compared to those in Australia and Japan. We offer recommendations for improving U.S. teachers’ working conditions based on these comparisons.

Author's Keywords:

Working conditions, Teachers, Japan, Australia, TIMSS
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Association:
Name: 53rd Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
URL:
http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p297166_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Akiba, Motoko., LeTendre, Gerald. and Shimizu, Kazuhiko. "Teachers’ working conditions in the U.S., Australia, and Japan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 53rd Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina, Mar 22, 2009 <Not Available>. 2013-12-13 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p297166_index.html>

APA Citation:

Akiba, M. , LeTendre, G. and Shimizu, K. , 2009-03-22 "Teachers’ working conditions in the U.S., Australia, and Japan" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 53rd Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina <Not Available>. 2013-12-13 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p297166_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Improving teacher quality is a major focus of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2001. However, it overlooks a critical factor for improving teacher quality—teachers’ working conditions. In contrast to the NCLB, improving teacher status and working conditions is a major focus of educational reforms in Australia and Japan. Using national data from eighth-grade mathematics teachers in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and policy documents, this study examined teachers’ workload, work assignment, and compensation in the U.S., Australia, and Japan.
The study found that U.S. teachers are assigned to teach longer hours than Australian and Japanese teachers, yet, they spend the least amount time for lesson preparation. Out-of-field teaching was also more prevalent among U.S. teachers than Australian or Japanese teachers. A comparison of compensation and benefits showed that U.S. teachers are not paid as well as Australian and Japanese teachers, and benefits in the forms of allowance and leave are limited compared to those in Australia and Japan. We offer recommendations for improving U.S. teachers’ working conditions based on these comparisons.

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