The situation of geography teachers on the labour market in Poland: Overt and covert issues
- hidden geographies, career, demand, geography teacher, prestige, remuneration, reform
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Economic, social and cultural changes generate new challenges on the labour market for teachers in every country. Poland has recently witnessed significant changes in factors that were identified in literature as crucial to the situation of teachers on the labour market, such as systemic reforms, demographic trends, the overall situation on the labour market and occupational prestige. The scale and impact of some of these factors can be precisely measured and statistically accounted for, yet there are others that remain somehow hidden. The objective of the article is to present and analyse the current situation of geography teachers in Poland, taking into account the impact of both overt and covert factors. The paper is based on an analysis of primary and secondary data. Primary data were collected during our own research on online job advertisements and revolved around information on the real demand for geography teachers. Secondary data were official reports and statistics related to the social and professional standing of teachers in Poland. The analysis proves that in the last ten years the population of teachers has aged and experienced a drop in real wages. There has also been an increase in staff turnover and patchwork careers. Moreover, we have observed that it is highly unlikely to secure a full-time position as a geography teacher and that there have been huge fluctuations in the prestige of geography as a school subject. The identified changes can result in a shortage of qualified geography teachers in the short term, particularly in cities