Bernd ZymekUlrich Heinemann

Cyclicality in the Labour Market for Teachers and Employment Opportunities for Women from the 19th Century until Present Day


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As a contribution to the ongoing discussions about the origins of – and remedies for – the current teacher shortage, this article reviews some fundamental insights of education and social history regarding the teaching profession in Germany. It focuses on two formative aspects of the development of the profession: (a) The professionalisation of teaching in Germany was not a linear process, but was characterised by distributional conflicts and setbacks, giving rise to a succession of periods of teacher surpluses and shortages during which prevailing standards of teacher qualifications, employment conditions and remuneration were called into question. (b) These cycles were closely related to the slow and frequently contested rise of women from a minority to the majority of teaching professionals. Contemporary and future regulation of the labour market for teachers should pay heed to this historically novel situation.

history of the teaching profession, teacher shortage, teacher surplus, labour market for teachers, labour market deregulation