Sunday, May 27, 2007

Not so much Likert as Maslow

The discussions between the Palestinian teachers from their teachers’ union and the Israeli teachers from their union couldn't have been more different.

The Palestinian teachers talked about not being paid a full salary for 18 months and having to strike for over 100 days in order to finally get one month of a full salary just this month. They did not separate the lives they lead, concerning the wall going up, the police, politics, their salaries, etc. with the conditions in which they teach.

The Israeli teachers’ union discussion was much more focused on professional evolution. They talked about pushing back reform efforts that were bad for education, how they found negotiating empowering enough that they didn’t have to resort to a strike, and how they were rolling out a plan to increase teacher pay by 30% largely by creating a salary schedule based on education and experience. The discussion included international standards, pensions, and governance. It makes me wonder if Maslow could create a hierarchy of teacher needs?

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