Anita SandmeierMartin GublerSilvio Herzog

Teachers’ career mobility

A structural overview


free download


Over the last decades, teachers’ occupational mobility has gained in importance for schools and educational policy alike. Although there is an increased practical need for a more in-depth understanding of teacher mobility, the field – particularly in Europe – currently lacks coherence and systematic coverage. Despite many research initiatives, there is a dearth of interdisciplinary approaches. Such studies would lead to a deeper understanding of teacher mobility and to new, practically relevant insights. However, hardly any such project has been conducted because each academic discipline focuses on its own models, concepts and methods. This article identifies relevant criteria to explore teachers’ occupational mobility, it provides a structured overview of research on teacher mobility, and it critically assesses the theoretical and methodological approaches of this field. It is argued that (a) there is a lack of conceptual models on teachers’ occupational mobility, (b) educational research in Europe would benefit greatly from gathering consistent and coherent data on teacher mobility, and (c) the core insights into teacher mobility have predominantly been based on qualitative studies. In contrast, quantitative research designs to date have only provided limited insights into the interplay of contextual and subjective factors over time.

Teacher attrition, Teacher retention, Teacher workforce, Teaching career