Teaching industry goes retro?
The large-scale arrival of women in the U.S. workforce has brought serious change to many industries, certainly including education. The Economist peeks at the social consequences of this transition, specifically how these changes have affected decisions on motherhood. Previously, one of the few paths open to women was teaching. Hence many entered the classroom and lots of these were talented, smart, and good at what they did. As the labor market opened up, however, women had tons more options. Meanwhile, the education industry continued to grow, more teaching jobs were created, and status and salaries remained stagnant. Result: The caliber of teachers went down. Today, perhaps, a silver lining is emerging in this cloud. More women are seeking careers that enable them either to work from home with flexible hours or to follow schedules that roughly coincide with their children’s. Teaching, either virtually or in the classroom, seems to fit the bill. Wouldn’t it be ironic if, forty years after the rise of modern feminism, women chose to re-enter the careers they left behind? Might education get a talent boost as a result?
“Female power,” The Economist, December 30, 2009
blog comments powered by Disqus