« Should Teachers Take on Secretarial Duties? | Main | What Not to Say as a Teachers' Union Leader »

A Status-Conscious Profession?

In a satirical "guide" to the social acceptability of various inequalities in the U.S.
New York Times columnist David Brooks says high school teachers are more sensitive about status inequality than college teachers:

Status inequality is acceptable for college teachers. Universities exist within a finely gradated status structure, with certain schools like Brown clearly more elite than other schools. University departments are carefully ranked and compete for superiority.
Status inequality is unacceptable for high school teachers. Teachers at this level strongly resist being ranked. It would be loathsome to have one's department competing with other departments in nearby schools.

Thoughts on the irony he points out? Is it true? Do the differences between high school and university teaching jobs necessitate divergent social norms? How might Brooks' analysis fit into the current school-reform debate?

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed On Teacher



Recent Comments