The shortage of well-trained science teachers is widely recognized, but the solution to the problem requires first an appreciation of its causes. This little book, which is available free online, addresses the tangible and intangible reasons why fewer talented people choose science teaching as a career or choose not to stay in teaching. Compensation is a factor, but it is not as important as the perceived and real erosion of the status of teaching as a profession. Tobias and Baffert examine the effects of No Child Left Behind and testing, tenure, and unions as both positive and negative influences, and the role of National Board Certification and Professional Learning Communities. Finally, they examine the success of Finland in science and mathematics education, and identify the critical role that teachers have played in that success. This extended essay ought to be required reading for teachers, principals, school boards, and legislators.
Sheila Tobias and Anne Baffert