Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Open Thread: The Changing Demographics of Teaching

It's conference time, which means that if you're connected to teacher-twitter you're going to see a lot of statistics being tossed around. It's always best to deal with the actual data and reports when trying to figure out what to believe. (For instance, last year I caught Treisman getting a little slippery with his slides.)

Are we not math teachers? Let's dig through some data, and shout out if you find something interesting or noteworthy. Make a graph and I'll toss it into the post. Ask a question, and we'll see if we can find the answer in some of the reports.

And here are links to some reports and data to think about.

Fast Facts about Trends in the Profession
NCEI: Profile of Teachers in the US
The Condition of Education: 2011

I'll start: it seems to me that we have fewer young teachers than we did in 2008. It looks as if the youth and inexperience of the profession peaked in 2008 and has been aging (slightly) since. Truth?


  1. I think I have a reason to support your theory- the recession. I was hired as a new teacher in 2008, and was one of 3 new math teachers in my building that year. I've been told that was a typical number of new hires for our building in the previous year. However, since I was hired, there has only been one new math hire for our building. I think that new teachers were being hired in declining numbers 2008-2013 due to budget cuts across the US, and so the number of young teachers declined. I hope that hiring new teachers resumes as the economy turns around, as I do think it's good to have both veterans and new teachers working together and helping each other.

    1. That's really interesting stuff, Susan.

      The other side of this is that some people are decrying the youth and inexperience of today's teacher corp, arguing that it's waaaay younger than it's ever been.

      One of the sources for that is the NCEI survey that I linked to. They report that while just 11% of teachers were below 30 years old in 2005, that jumped to 21% in 2011.

      That report clashes with this one, I think. The NCES reports that in 2011 just 15% of the job force was below 30, and that this is the lowest that percentage has been since 2000.

      Am I reading everything correctly, people? What do you make of this?