Saturday 19 January 2019

Irish teens most keen on teaching as a profession

(Stock picture)
(Stock picture)
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

Irish 15-year-olds are three times more likely to want to be a teacher than the international average.

The lure of teaching as a career in Ireland is underlined in a new report on 'Effective Teacher Policies' from the international think-tank, the OECD.

It shows that, in 2015, 11.8pc of Irish 15-year-olds aspired to a career in teaching, more than anywhere else in the world, and almost treble the average of 4.2pc.

Second on the OECD table is Korea, at 10.7pc, followed by Luxembourg at 9.9pc, but other countries pale in comparison to Ireland, including the UK at 5pc, Canada at 1.1pc, Finland at 4.6pc, the Netherlands on 4.9pc and New Zealand and the USA with 3pc and 2.8pc respectively.

The relatively high demand for teaching here makes for keen competition when it comes to college application.

Typically, entry to teacher training programme is the preserve of the top 25pc of school-leavers as measured by CAO points.

It also explains why Irish-trained teachers are in great demand around the world to fill classroom shortages.

According to the OECD report, interest in teaching among 15-year-olds in Ireland has held between 2006 and 2015, although the international trend is down from 5.5pc to 4.2pc.

The OECD figures also highlight the big and well-known gender gap in interest among teenagers in a career in the classroom.

In 2015, 16.6pc of Irish 15-year-old girls expected to work as teachers by the time they were 30, compared the 6.7pc of boys.

While in all countries girls were more likely to expect a career in teaching than boys, students' expectations of a teaching career were more gender-balanced in countries with higher teachers' salaries.

The OECD table also looks at the expectations of 15-year-old about working generally as a professional.

In Ireland, some 61.4pc of 15 -year-olds expected a career as a professional, on a par with the UK, ahead of the international average of 50pc.

Irish Independent

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