Wednesday, April 16, 2014

John Thompson: Gallup Poll Finds Majority of Teachers "Not Engaged" - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher

John Thompson: Gallup Poll Finds Majority of Teachers "Not Engaged" - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:



John Thompson: Gallup Poll Finds Majority of Teachers "Not Engaged"

Guest post by John Thompson.


Gallup has produced decades of research on the characteristics of high-performing educators, students and schools. Gallup explains that its studies have produced "unparalleled expertise on the 'human' elements" of school improvement, but "these elements are often overlooked in the effort to 'fix' America's education system." 
 
Gallup's latest study found that 56% of teachers polled are "not engaged." They may be satisfied with their jobs, but they are not emotionally connected to their schools. Another 13% are "actively disengaged." While those numbers are consistent with the engagement and disengagement levels of most American workers, they are very disturbing for a profession that seeks to nurture engagement in young people with learning and developing the skills necessary for well-rounded fulfilling lives. 
 
Moreover, 46% of teachers report high daily stress. That is nearly identical as the stress reported by physicians and nurses.   
The survey found that teachers are dead last among occupational groups in terms of their opinions being heard at work. That fosters teachers' feelings of isolation and disempowerment. Gallup concludes that the "increased use of high-stakes testing at the state and district levels may be exacerbating this problem by limiting teachers' control over their own work." 
 
These findings also suggest the approach school reformers should have adopted. The first step in improving schools, Gallup finds, is asking teachers about curriculum, pedagogy, and other issues, John Thompson: Gallup Poll Finds Majority of Teachers "Not Engaged" - Living in Dialogue - Education Week Teacher:

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