Project summary

The teaching profession is central to a number of major issues confronting educational systems. The functioning of the profession thus suffers from low attractiveness, fragmentation, and teacher shortages. At the same time, the evolution of the institutional arrangements regulating the profession indicates significant changes in national education and employment systems in an increasingly globalised context. This project constitutes the first systematic comparative project in Europe aimed at understanding the role of the institutional dimensions affecting teachers’ careers and the teaching profession as a whole. The entry point for the project is that teacher policy since the 1970s across Europe and globally has been affected by a set of emphatic shifts in institutional logics: a shift from governing to governance, from education to learning, and from relatively stable and long-term employment relations to a flexibilisation paradigm.

Project research design

In this project, we adopt a post-comparative mixed-method design and combine four methods:

  • teacher policy analyses at the European and national levels (teacher policy);
  • secondary data analyses of relevant national and international datasets on teacher supply and the profession’s attractiveness (teacher supply);
  • a qualitative, in-depth study of three labour-market spaces in Brussels, Lyon and London (labour markets for teachers);
  • multilevel multi-group analyses of original datasets on teacher mobility, and semi-structured interviews with non-entrants and early leavers (teacher mobility).

The project situates the analysis of teacher policy, supply and mobility in the three national cases of England, France and Belgium in the wider field of European and global education and employment governance.

Project objectives (work packages)

The project has four objectives:

[1] to explain continuities and changes in the nature and formation of teacher policy over the last thirty years and their outcomes in different educational systems (Belgium, France and England)

[2] to understand the changing status of the teaching profession and its impact on the diversification of the teaching workforce

[3] to analyse the processes by which teachers are allocated into increasingly diverse working and professional conditions;

[4] to model and predict teacher attrition and migration within a common but differentiated multilevel framework.