Norwegian teachers fail to make the grade

The average intelligence level of male teachers in Norway is falling, according to new research.

The Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) found the IQ of male lecturers has dropped from 7.3 to 6.2 on a sliding scale of one to nine. In addition, the proportion of teachers with a university degree halved between 1971 and 2006.

“There are dramatically fewer teachers at 6th-Form level, and hardly any teachers with science (mathematics and natural sciences) specialisation,” (NHH) Professor Kjell Gunnar Salvanes told Aftenposten. “We also know the best people quit as teachers and begin doing something else instead,” he added.

The NHH says chemistry and mathematics teachers should be trained to Master’s level in order to provide their students with a deeper understanding. They believe that low pay, low status and a high level of administration are, however, putting such graduates off entering the field.

“Teachers’ salaries have weakened over time compared to other relevant professions,” said Professor Salvanes. “Many things influence why people choose one profession or another, but pay is an important element. Moreover, we think that salary is a very important explanation for why an increasing number of teachers are recruited from groups with lower levels of knowledge. Everyone knows we need more teachers and it’s about pay. Nevertheless, nobody does anything about it,” he added.

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