CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

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Seven Trends: The Transformation of the Teaching Force

Richard Ingersoll, University of Pennsylvania; Lisa Merrill, University of Pennsylvania

Report updated with new data for three trends (October 2013)

Has the elementary and secondary teaching force changed in recent years? And, if so, how? Have the types and kinds of individuals going into teaching changed? Have the demographic characteristics of those working in classrooms altered? To answer these questions we embarked on an exploratory research project to try to discover what trends and changes have, or have not, occurred in the teaching force over the past few decades. We were surprised by what we found. We discovered that the teaching force has been, and is, greatly changing; yet, even the most dramatic trends appear to have been little noticed by researchers, policy makers, and the public. 

In this CPRE Working Paper, Richard Ingersoll and Lisa Merrill describe the following characteristics of the changing teaching force:

  1. Larger
  2. Grayer
  3. Greener
  4. More Female
  5. More Diverse
  6. Consistent in Academic Ability
  7. Less Stable 

Publication Date

October 2013