The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

“Does a Master Really Matter?” on Masterization of Teachers: reflections from pre- and in-service teachers in Taiwan

Aiyu Hsieh, Department of curriculum design and human potentials development, National Dong Hwa University (Taiwan, Republic of China)


The basic academic requirement for a qualified teacher has long been a controversial issue in educational policy all over the world. Due to Finnish students’ outstanding performance at PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) 2000, 2003 and 2006, many researchers (Hannele Niemi 2009, Simola, 2005) have contributed the success of Finnish education to the excellent teacher training system. In particular, the regulation that all basic school teachers must hold a Master degree has been considered vital in leading to Finnish teachers’ research-based profession (Jyrhämä, 2006). Henceforth, numerous countries have attempted to follow the Finnish model via the “masterization” of the high school teachers (Chang 2009, Wu 2005). Along with the advocates (Greenwald, Hedges & Laine, 1996, National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future 1996, Ferguson 1991), many researchers form opposing opinions of the proposal (Zheng 2011 & 2010, Wang 2010, Hanushek & Rivkin 2006, Ballou & Podgursky 2000, Darling-Hammond 2000, Su 2009, Hsu 2006, Wang and Lin 1999).   

Aiming to probe into the necessity of the masterization of high school teachers, this study intends to answer the following questions: 1) In what way does the requirement of master degree influence the recruitment of the pre-service teachers? 2) How does participation in a master’s degree program help develop in-service teachers’ teaching profession and effectiveness? 3) What’s the essence behind the master degree program that contributes to teacher professionization? 4) What do practitioners think about the requirement of teacher’s obtaining a master degree?

Through the analysis of questionnaires from Taiwan Teacher Education Database and the semi-structured interview of members from the Teacher Recruiting Committee, this study aims to reflect both the pre- and in-service teachers’ perspectives with regard to masterization of teachers and, furthermore, to provide the relevant feasible suggestions for the educational policy makers and the future studies.


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