Financial Incentives for Teachers – An Open Problem

Roxana Ghiaţău

Teaching is an occupation with little visible rewards. Rarely are teachers appropriately repaid for their work, exceptional results and creativity. The debate on teachers’ wages is striking by the variety of recommendations and strong claims about the consequences of action or inaction. The objectives of this theoretical study are three: 1. Analysis of the international context regarding merit pay for teachers; 2. Investigation of the pros and cons of granting merit pay; 3. Outlining recommendations on giving financial incentives for teachers. The research findings are: 1. Empirical research on teacher pay and its impact on children’s performance is relatively limited and contradictory; 2. The arguments in favour of giving performance-related teacher compensations focus more on the importance of rewarding individual educators whereas the arguments against it focus on the occurrence of opportunistic behaviours and destruction of collegiality. 3. The success of a merit pay scheme depends on careful and cooperative planning, involving all the parties affected, so that the plan may be affordable, acceptable by teachers and adaptable to school needs. In an era marked by the widespread belief that improving schools depends on the performance of teachers, financial incentives remain an essential political challenge for school reformers.

teaching profession, merit pay

ROXANA GHIAŢĂU – PhD, Lecturer, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi, Romania, E-mail:

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