The crisis of the Post-Soviet teaching profession in the Caucasus and Central Asia

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Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the status of the teaching profession has begun to erode in the Caucasus and Central Asia as evidenced in such indicators as a teacher shortage, the feminization of the profession, an over-aged teaching force, a low transition rate from teacher education graduation to professional service, and a decrease of enrollment in teacher education programs at colleges and universities. While all of these indicators have been well documented, this article considers another indicator which may signal the low status of the teaching profession - the comparatively low results of centralized university examinations among students entering pre-service teacher education programs compared to more competitive, high-demand higher education programs. Using data from centralized university admission tests in Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan for the 2007-08 academic year, the article illustrates that it is the lowest-performing students who are typically entering pre-service teacher education institutions, thus further undermining the prestige of the teaching profession and the quality of education in the former Soviet republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-383
Number of pages18
JournalResearch in Comparative and International Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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