the teacher


Came across a very funny (at least to me) quote recently. The context is a discussion of then (1953) recent research on the prestige of various occupations and the challenges that come with measuring that construct. The study under discussion found that when asked to rate occupations as to who would be most desirable to have as a spouse, teachers came out first with a “marriageability score” of 691. The author (T. H. Marshall) notes that while this is impressive, it might be a result of a confusion between between the social status of the occupation and the personal status of the average member of that occupation:

The Effects of this confusion of thought are noticed by another investigator who says of the status of teachers in the United States: “On the one hand, the teacher represents a group well above the average citizen in intelligence, culture, and socially desirable conduct…Along with this however, goes a reputation for economic incompetence, personal futility, and inadequacy in community affairs” (p. 47).*

Yep. That describes me and some of my friends pretty well.

*Marshall, T. H. 1953. “The Nature and Determinants of Social Status.” Pp. 31-50 in Robert King Hall, N. Hans and J. A. Lauwerys (Eds.) The Year Book of Education 1953: Status and Position of Teachers.  New York: World Book Company.

Written by Omar

May 23, 2007 at 6:34 pm

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