Teachers and tne global knowledge economy

David Edwards, Carol Anne Spreen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article describes and analyses the growing trend of teachers as mobile knowledge workers in the global labour market. It is widely recognised that the task of small countries of fulfilling the increasing demands of universal primary education under Education for All (EFA) has reached crisis proportions. With a more flexible labour market, teacher shortages are threatening the ability of governments to reach internationally agreed targets to expand and improve education quality and access. In this article we show that foreign teachers are increasingly used to address domestic teaching shortages and suggest that this problem is not merely a result of short supply, but rather a complex interaction of processes that occur at national and international policy levels. We argue that massive international investment is needed in supporting teacher training and recruitment, but also in retainment and better overall support of teachers in schools. Poor policy planning around teacher development and support come at great cost to the education system and to the children they serve. Finally, we advocate the strengthening and expansion of international frameworks (such as the Protocol for the Recruitment of Commonwealth Teachers) to protect the rights of teachers to migrate internationally as well as to ensure adequate investments by governments and the international community to deliver quality education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalPerspectives in Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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