One big debate in the US education system at the moment is likely to come to England in the near future and could have a huge impact on both school and university teaching. This is the issue over whether to reward teachers based on the achievements of their pupils, i.e. the better the grades, the better the pay.
As you can imagine, this is hugely controversial with many teachers fearing that this could accelerate the movement by the best educators into high achieving schools, while others argue that this is the only way to raise standards in schools whose pupils have traditionally struggled. But how might this affect you as a university lecturer or future lecturer?
The theory is that merit pay would be awarded based on the improvement that students make, and not just their raw marks. This would allow teachers who make underachieving pupils flourish the opportunity to achieve more pay than teachers of better pupils who do not improve.
Of course many teachers and lecturers, and their unions, are hostile to this sort of development because equating teaching quality with student marks is too crude an instrument. The same sort of fear is engendered by suggestions that merit pay be based on student feedback (i.e. the most popular teachers get paid more).
While noone is suggesting that these ideas be implemented in the UK yet, they certainly provide food for thought and allow educators to debate the future of their profession. What do you think about the idea that your students’ achievements or opinions could determine the size of your next wage packet?!