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Batt, James R. (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 20, Number 2 [3] (Summer 1974)

Heideman, Robert G.
Future alternatives in teacher education,   pp. 29-31


Page 29


  It is a well-known and heavily documented fact
that employment opportunities for teachers at all
levels are more restricted today than at any time
in recent history.
  At the public school level, the National Education
Association (NEA) reports, 337,619 persons com-
pleted teacher training between September, 1971, and
August, 1972, but only 197,000 were needed in the
fall of 1972. There could be a national surplus of
over 700,000 beginning teachers by 1977 if college
enrollments in education remain stable.
  On the other hand, there is some indication that en-
rollment trends are dropping. The NEA also states
in an overview of trends in " Teacher Supply and
Demand in Public Schools from 1973-1976," "En-
rollment information from sixty-seven of the nation's
largest teacher preparatory institutions suggests that
graduating classes of p o t e n t i a l teachers will be
smaller in 1973 and in at least three subsequent years
than they were in 1972. If these institutions are repre-
sentative of all teacher education institutions, the num-
ber of graduates completing preparation to enter
teaching in 1976 will be only two-thirds of the num-
ber in 1972, and the ratio of graduates seeking
teaching jobs to the number of jobs open to them
will be about one and one half to one instead of two
to one in 1972."
  There is significant agreement that the market for
Ph.D.'s in teaching is likely to be highly restricted
through the 1970s and early 1980s. According to
the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, "the
major factor depressing the job market for Ph.D.'s in
the 1970s or into the 1980s will be the expected slow-
ing down in the rate of increase and the subsequent
decline in enrollment in higher education. On a full-
time equivalency (F.T.E.) basis, the lowest of the
Carnegie Commission's three projections indicates
that the annual rate of increase in enrollment is likely
to decline from about 5-6 percent in the very early
1970s to less than 1 percent by 1980. After that, there
is likely to be an absolute decline in enrollment until
about 1987, when increases may resume at a modest
rate. These changes will reflect the fact that students
entering college from about 1974 on will have been
born in a period when the birthrate was declining and
that those entering from about 1978 on will have
been born in a period when the absolute number of
live births was declining. The Commission's projec-
tions of undergraduate enrollment in the late 1980s
have recently been revised to reflect the continued
decline in the number of births in the last few years.
The outlook for the 1980s is now very unclear be-
cause of uncertainties surrounding the future behavior
of the birthrate. The important point is that the de-
mand for college faculty members is likely to decline
somewhat in the 1970s and to begin a sharp descent
toward the end of the decade."
   Faced with these kinds of data, which, unlike pre-
vious data are augumented by reasonably accurate
short term enrollment projections, what alternatives
are available to the schools and departments which
are directly or indirectly involved in the preparation
of teachers?
Robert G. Heideman is director of the Educational
Placement Bureau of the University of Wisconsin-
Madison.
Future
AlIternatiues
in Teacher
Education
By Robert G. Heideman
Faced with increasing
supply and decreasing
demand, teacher preparatory
institutions must respond
with new approaches,
programs, and objectives.
29


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