Teachers on the Market: A Typology of Teachers’ Philosophy, Mission, Vision, and Values

WCER Working Paper No. 2019-2

Peter Goff, Xin Xie, Minseok Yang, Lena Batt, Lydia Gandy-Fastovich, Yasmin Rodriguez-Escutia, Hyunwoo Yang, and Eunji You


March 2019, 26 pp.

ABSTRACT: This study develops, validates, and applies a typology of teachers using labor market data. We construct our typology by applying a correlated topic model to 17,000 personal statements teachers submitted as part of their applications to open positions in Wisconsin public schools. We identify seven types of teachers active on the labor market: Inclusivists, Idealists, Nurturers, Generalists, Classroom Experts, Guides, and External Experts. Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods, we explore trends within and among types as well as demographic relationships and labor market behaviors. This research provides novel insights into the philosophies, mission, vision, and values of teachers; links these characteristics to teachers’ job market preferences; and provides a sound psychometric foundation for these measures of teacher type to be applied in subsequent research.

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keywords: teacher labor market, typology, selection, distribution, application, correlated topic model, Wisconsin