#CIES2018 Widening career opportunities available to teachers: a road to enhanced motivation?
WIDENING CAREER OPPORTUNITIES
AVAILABLE TO TEACHERS:
A ROAD TO ENHANCED
Insights from New York City & South Africa
motivation from a systemic
perspective: learning from
25 – 29 March 2018
Why is it
relevant to study
Ministry of Education across the globe face
similar challenges in terms of attracting and
retaining capable and motivated teachers.
How can we reverse this phenomena and
‘reprofessionalise’ the profession?
Motivation theories highlight a number of
variables that can be affected by the way
careers are organised. Teacher careers can
potentially act as a powerful leverage to
influence teacher motivation.
Many countries are in the process of
reforming their career structures, yet relatively
little information is available.
Zooming in on
There is no consensus on how
to give greater recognition to
Career structures offering
advancement opportunities to
teachers while allowing them
to stay in the classroom are
Lessons from New York City &
the Western Cape, South
Teacher careers should encourage, not
undermine, intrinsic motivation.
It is difficult to validate the link between
the career structure and teacher
Looking at 3 variables susceptible to
increase teacher motivation: agency;
teacher collaboration; opportunities for
continuous professional development.
Teachers value having
opportunities to choose
between different career paths.
Teacher agency is constrained
by challenges in the
implementation of the career
Agency over improving
learning conditions and having
their voices heard appears to
be even more important to
7% 4% 5% 3%
Agree Uncertain Disagree Strongly
No opinion No response
I have control over the direction my career takes me
n= 101; source: teacher questionnaire, South Africa case
In NYC, teacher collaboration has
substantially improved as a result
of the teacher career pathways
programme design and
In South Africa, limited number of
promotional posts generate
competition among teachers.
“It’s a chance to facilitate and help
other teachers in their classroom.
Not being on an island. I collaborate
so much more with other teachers.
It’s made me a stronger teacher.
Peer Collaborative Teacher
New York City
In NYC, a significant majority of
teachers reported that their
instructional practice had
improved as a result of working
with Teacher Leaders.
In South Africa, teachers
complain about the CPD not
being explicitly tied to the
Source: 2017 Eskolta survey
“Having teacher leaders in our school last year helped
me to build instructional capacity”
Teachers willing to move
along the career ladder might
already be the most
… but the career ladder gives
them satisfaction and
strengthens their intrinsic
Teacher motivation is strongly
affected by the degree of
support teachers receive from
“We need better care from
teachers on the part of the
Department of Basic Education.
More incentives are needed but
these are not necessarily monetary.
design & structure
1 Shifting from an
accountability frame to a
collaboration frame requires
Striking a balance between
support and accountability
… and keeping them
Defining clear roles and
professional standards at
each level of the career
1 Ensuring teacher buy-in
Ongoing monitoring and
adjusting of the policy
School leadership is key
Financial and human
constraints are the most
Barbara Tournier & Chloé
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