Who Chooses to Teach and Why?

Eric A. Hanushek
Richard Pace
Published Date
June 1995
Economics of Education Review
pp. 101-117

Decisions of college students determine who is prepared to teach. Analysis of a college cohort from the early 1980's indicates that graduates completing teacher training have roughly the same distribution of cognitive skills as all entrants into college. Yet, since college graduates are a select group, potential teachers fall low in both in the overall graduate distribution and in the distribution by gender and race. Teacher training is significantly lowered by state requirements for courses and teacher tests. Even though their effect on teacher performance is unclear. Surprisingly, participation in teacher training is not significantly affected by relative teacher earnings.