Journal of Education & Social Policy

ISSN 2375-0782 (Print) 2375-0790 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jesp

How A Teacher’s Gender, Grade, and STEM Discipline Affect Opinions about Pay
Eugene Judsona, Mohammed Ibrahima

This study investigates American public opinions about teacher salaries compared to other professions, considering factors of gender, grade level, and discipline. A salary sorting activity was used to determine recommendations for five occupations, including various teacher roles. Results revealed teachers were mostly assigned lower salaries than other occupations, with significant differences observed in seven out of eight scenarios. Interestingly, when a male teacher taught a STEM subject at the high school level, respondents recommended a salary equivalent to other professions. This suggests the public may perceive teaching STEM subjects at the high school level, particularly when taught by males, as deserving commensurate compensation. The study highlights the complexity of public perceptions toward teaching and emphasizes the need for a nuanced understanding of the factors influencing opinions about teacher pay. Policymakers and educational reformers should consider these findings to address the perceived value of teaching and attract high-quality educators.

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