Professor of Education and Sociology
Richard M. Ingersoll, a former high school teacher, is Professor of Education and Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania. His area of expertise is America’s elementary and secondary teaching force. His research and writing focus on teaching as a job, teachers as employees, and schools as workplaces.
Now showing 1 - 10 of 71
PublicationThe Wrong Solution to the Teacher Shortage(2003-05-01) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, Richard; Smith, Thomas MIn recent years, researchers and policymakers have told us again and again that severe teacher shortages confront schools. They point to a dramatic increase in the demand for new teachers resulting from two converging demographic trends: increasing student enrollments and increasing numbers of teachers reaching retirement age. Shortfalls of teachers, they say, are forcing many school systems to lower their standards for teacher quality (National Commission on Teaching and America's Future, 1997). PublicationRejoinder: Misunderstanding the Problem of Out-of-Field Teaching(2001-01-01) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, RichardThe phenomenon of out-of-field teaching - teachers assigned to teach subjects for which they have little education or training-is an important, but long unrecognized, problem in schools. It is an important issue because highly qualified teachers may actually become highly unqualified when they teach subjects for which they have little background. This issue has long been unrecognized, however, largely due to an absence of accurate information about it - a situation remedied with the availability, beginning in the early 1990s, of new data on teachers. PublicationResearcher Skewers Explanations Behind Teacher Shortage(2002-04-10) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, Richard PublicationTurnover Among Mathematics and Science Teachers in the U.S.(2000-02-01) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, RichardFor some time educational policy analysts have been predicting that shortfalls of teachers resulting primarily from increases in student enrollment and teacher retirements will make it very difficult for schools to find qualified teachers and, in turn, will hurt school performance. Moreover, analysts have argued that shortages will be worse for particular fields, such as math and science, because of difficulties in recruiting qualified candidates. This paper summarizes what the best available nationally representative data reveal about the rates of, and reasons for, teacher turnover for both math/science and other teachers. The data show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, the problems schools have adequately staffing classrooms with qualified teachers are not primarily due to teacher shortfalls, stemming from either increases in student enrollment or increases in teacher retirement. Rather, the data show that school staffing difficulties are primarily a result of a "revolving door" where large numbers of teachers depart teaching for other reasons, such as job dissatisfaction and in order to pursue better jobs or other careers. These findings have important implications for educational policy. Teacher recruitment programs - the dominant policy approach to addressing school staffing inadequacies - will not solve the staffing problems of schools, if they do not also address the problem of teacher retention. In short, the data indicate that recruiting more teachers will not solve teacher shortages if large numbers of such teachers then prematurely leave. PublicationShort on Power, Long on Responsibility(2007-09-01) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, RichardFew education issues have received more attention in recent times than the problem of ensuring that all elementary and secondary classrooms are staffed with high-quality teachers. This concern with teacher quality is not surprising. Mandatory elementary and secondary schooling in the United States places children in the care of teachers for a significant portion of their lives. The quality of teachers and teaching is undoubtedly an important factor in shaping students' growth and learning. PublicationNational Assessments of Teacher Quality(1996-10-01) Ingersoll, Richard M; Ingersoll, Richard MThis report addresses the issue of evaluating and measuring the quality of school teachers. In particular, it speaks to the problem of assessing the competence, performance and effectiveness of elementary and secondary teachers through large-scale national sample surveys. Its objective is to provide a foundation and springboard for thinking about the conceptual and methodological issues underlying the development of national survey measures of teacher quality. This paper will not attempt to conceive or construct such measures or indicators themselves. Rather, it seeks to provide background to such efforts. Its role is to review the range of contemporary thought on assessing teacher quality and to discuss the possibilities and problems of adapting existing methods and measures for use in large-scale surveys, such as those undertaken by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) of the U.S. Department of Education. PublicationSchool Leadership Counts(2017-01-01) Ingersoll, Richard M; Sirinides, Philip; Dougherty, Patrick; Sirinides, Philip PublicationHigh Turnover Plagues Schools(2002-08-15) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, Richard PublicationHoles in the Teacher Supply Bucket(2002-03-01) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, RichardFew educational issues receive more attention than the need to ensure that all elementary and secondary classrooms are staffed with qualified teachers. A rash of studies, commissions and national reports announce that we are on the precipice of a severe teacher shortage. These shortfalls, we are told, are due primarily to two demographic trends - increasing student enrollment and the retirement of a graying teaching force. PublicationThe Changing Face of Teaching(2018-05-01) Ingersoll, Richard; Ingersoll, Richard; Merrill, Lisa; Stuckey, DanielAn analysis of nearly 30 years of data on the teaching force sheds new light on the makeup of the occupation—and on staffing priorities.