Batt, James R. (ed.) / Wisconsin Academy review
Volume 20, Number 2  (Summer 1974)
Heideman, Robert G.
Future alternatives in teacher education, pp. 29-31
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
Copyright 1974 by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.| For information on re-use, see http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/Copyright