Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy ETDs

Publication Date



From Chapter 1

Importance of the Study

To-day in the United States nearly a million persons are employed as teachers in the public schools. The members of this large and important group of employees ore loosely organized, and, therefore, in comparison to many professional or occupational groups, not in a favorable position to pro­mote their own welfare. As a class of public social workers, employed by the state. or by the local school districts as agents of the state, they have long been dependent upon the will of legislators and the wishes or dictates or local com­munities to establish and assure them a desirable social, economic, and legal status.

The progress of teaching us a profession or vocation has been comparatively slow, and probably so to some degree on account of luck of concerted effort on the part, of the teach­ers or some group in their behalf. Relatively little has been done, in fact, to make teaching us attractive as the other professions or classes or occupations of a comparable level. The profession has developed more or less haphazardly, and even to-day there is a tendency to let it establish or find its own level, apart from the efforts of any strongly or­ganized group. Whether or not this policy or practice is proper should be a matter of concern to every person interested in public education, and whether this course will eventually raise teaching to a high professional level or status is an issue of great import.

The Problem

As a step in the broader problem indicated in the fore­going paragraphs, that is, forrnulnt1ng end providing a desir­able professional status for public school teachers, this in­vestigation has been undertaken. It has as its immediate objective the determination of the legal statue of the group mentioned, in the several states of! the United States, and the discovery of recent trends in the legal status provided for public school teachers.

Document Type




Degree Name

Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Teacher Education, Educational Leadership & Policy

First Committee Member (Chair)

John Edward Seyfried

Second Committee Member

Simon Peter Nanninga

Third Committee Member

Arthur S. White