Another Brick in the wall?


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Association Between Teacher Students’ Academic Orientation and Their Labour Market Situation. A presentation in Rovaniemi, ISATT 2009

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Another Brick in the wall?

  1. 1. Another Brick in the Wall? Association Between Teacher Students’ Academic Orientation and Their Labour Market Situation. Visa Tuominen, Juhani Rautopuro & Antero Puhakka University of Joensuu [email_address] [email_address] [email_address]
  2. 2. 1. Introduction <ul><li>Bologna declaration1999 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>European higher education area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>academic degree standards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>quality assurance </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>London communiqué 2007 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Employability of graduates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>connection between universities and the world of work </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. 2. Consequences <ul><li>The bonds between educational system and the labour market have tightened </li></ul><ul><li>Universities in Europe have become more school-like and vocational ( e.g. Kivinen & Nurmi 2003 ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>university studies are increasingly following the assumed needs of the labour market and various professions ( e.g. Grupp & Lazerson 2005 ) </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. 2. Consequences (continued ) <ul><li>Students (in general) nowadays are claimed to have different attitudes towards the university and university education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>students being more instrumental and vocationally oriented ( e.g. Wood 2004 ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>No need for academic orientation? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>university is just one of the routes to the labour market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>need for personal, intellectual, and social development? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>need for research skills? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 3. Teacher education (Finland) <ul><li>Possibility to aspire to postgraduate studies </li></ul><ul><li>Class teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually Master’s degree in Education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Including one additional subject taught in upper level of comprehensive school (e.g. history) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Qualification to teach in lower level of comprehensive school and one subject in upper level </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Subject teachers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graduated in main subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Couple of additional subjects </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pedagogical studies in many case an addition to graduation </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Qualification to teach in upper level of comprehensive and in upper secondary school </li></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. 4. Research questions <ul><li>Is it true that academic thesis and degree are only a ‘ de rigueur’ ritual – another brick in the wall - for teacher students to achieve a qualification to teacher’s profession? </li></ul><ul><li>TEACHER AS A RESEARCHER - REALITY ? </li></ul>
  7. 7. 5. Data and methods <ul><li>Graduates from University of Joensuu during 2003-2006. </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys have been conducted in April of the following year of graduation, i.e. from only 4 to 15 months completing degrees </li></ul><ul><li>Altogether 846 either class or subject teachers (response rate approximately 60 %) </li></ul><ul><li>Mostly quantitative methods </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In addition, personal interviews, each person was interviewed three times (n= 17, three men) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>First interview: in June, after the graduation year. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Second interview: in June, a year after the first interview. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Third interview: in June, five years after the graduation. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. 6. Results (1) <ul><li>Class teachers (45 % of respondents) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>n= 384 (83 % female) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>additional subject outside one’s own faculty 59 % </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>” minimum degree” 14 % </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>over 185 credits 39 % (about 45 ECTS more included to the masters´s degree than required – one “long” additional subject) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Subject teachers (55 % of respondents) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>n= 462 (80 % female) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>additional subject outside one’s own faculty 68 % </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>” minimum degree” 9 % </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>over 185 credits 53 % </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. 6. Results (2)       17 % of class teachers and 27 % of subject teachers were “unhurried”.   197,0 35,1 189,0   67,8 26,4 65,0 Subject teachers      Mean      Std. Dev.      Median   185,5 26,6 180,0   51,6 15,9 50,0 Class teachers      Mean      Std. Dev.      Median Richness of studies (currents/credits) Duration of studies (months)  
  10. 10. 6. Results (3) Labour market situation (next April)   Association between education and labour market situation (good / poor / can´t define) Class teachers: 97 % / 2 % / 1 % Subject teachers: 93 % / 5 % / 2 % 4 % 3 % Others 8 % 6 % Family leave 5 % 1 % Unemployed 4,1 % 1,6 % Postgraduate studies 79 % 88 % Working Subject teachers Class teachers  
  11. 11. 6. Results (4) Situation at the moment of the graduation                                                                                                                           Working experience during studies (including training periods): Full time (yes / no) Duration (months) Class teachers (42 % / 58 %) (mean = 11 m; median = 6 m) Subject teachers (46 % / 54 %) (mean = 17 m; median = 8 m) Part time (yes / no) Class teachers (23 % / 77 %) (mean = 2 m; median = 2 m) Subject teachers (31 % / 69 %) (mean = 2 m; median = 2 m) 34 % 14 % 52 % Subject teachers 23 % 20 % 57 % Class teachers Not working, no security of a job Not working but a security of a job Already working  
  12. 12. 6. Results (5) Alpha = 0.72 Mean correlation = 0.40 Alpha = 0.77 Mean correlation = 0.46 Academic degree Vocational qualifications achieved by the degree Main subject of the degree Additional subjects taken Grade of Master’s thesis Topic of a Master’s thesis Mastery of research methods Study success Vocational orientation Academic orientation   3,5 0,4 3,5   3,4 0,6 3,5   1,4 0,4 1,2   1,6 0,6 1,5 Class teachers     Mean     Median Subject teachers     Mean     Median Vocational orientation (range 1 – 4) Academic orientation (range 1 – 4)  
  13. 13. 6. Results (6) <ul><li>The academic and vocational orientation of the both groups seems to be very similar. </li></ul><ul><li>No significant difference in grades of Master’s thesis. </li></ul><ul><li>The both groups agreed that the grade of the thesis nor the subject of the thesis had no significance for the labour market. </li></ul>
  14. 14. 6. Results (7) <ul><li>The five most important factors (%) affecting the employment of the class teachers . And the five factors that had the least affection to the empoyment (Altogeher 23 factors were given in the questionnaire to the graduates). </li></ul>
  15. 15. 6. Results (8) <ul><li>The five most important factors (%) affecting the employment of the subject teachers . And the five factors that had the least affection to the empoyment </li></ul>
  16. 16. 7a. Some results of the interviews   Q: I´ll ask you to describe your way after the graduation to the position, where you are at this very moment. Please describe, what happened? A: “Mmm. Last spring I graduated… I mean I had to graduate as quickly as possible. So it was something like 16 days and nights that it took me to write my thesis because I needed to achieve the master´s degree in order to apply for the job.”   Subject teacher, male. Major subject: History Grade of the Thesis: Mcl (5/7) Worked as a teacher/headmaster in a comprehensive school by the time of the first interview.
  17. 17. 7b. Some results of the interviews     A: “So, I was about to give a presentation in the (thesis) seminar. And by a chance, there had just opened a four-month -position for a research assistant. I really had no plan whatsoever to stay at the university, nor become a researcher. It has never been my dream. So it was just pure co-incidence.I happened to be at the right time, at the right spot, with the right subject (of the thesis). That´s it.”   Subject teacher, female. Major: Sociology Grade of the Thesis: Ecl (6/7) Worked as a reseacher by the time of the first interview.
  18. 18. 7c. Some results of the interviews     A: “---It really bored me, trying to write the thesis. It (thesis) just did not work out. Not at all. And then, by a chance I saw an advertisement in the paper. They were looking for a teacher to a local vocational school. I thought that I would be better off working than trying to get the thesis done.   So, the plan was that: I will work for the schoolyear and the following summer will finish the thesis. But it took four-five years to get it (the thesis) done.” Subject teacher, female. Major: English language Grade of the Thesis: Nsla (3/7) Worked as a English and Swedish teacher in a vocational school by the time of the first interview.
  19. 19. 8. Conclusions <ul><li>The subject teachers (in general) study longer and collect more credits than the class teachers. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There is some evidence (Puhakka, Rautopuro & Tuominen 2007, 22) that ”a broader degree” is an advantage to the subject teachers at the labour market. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Only a minority of the either groups seem to have an academic orientation, nor it seems to be required at the labour market </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The importance of the grade of the thesis at the labour market seems to be trivial </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Post graduate studies do not aspire </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The thesis can be seen as a compulsory part of the degree; just another brick in the wall. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What does this mean to teacher education? </li></ul></ul>   
  20. 20. <ul><ul><li>We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control. No dark sarcasm in the classroom. Teacher, leave those kids alone. Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone! All in all it’s just another brick in the wall. (Pink Floyd 1979) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A protest song against rigid schooling in general and boarding schools in particular. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This song was banned in some countries. </li></ul></ul> 
  21. 21. Thank you for your attention!