Annual meeting of the AERA location:Montréal (Canada) date:14 April 2005
The teaching profession has always had a special position in society. Over the last few decades, that position has been the subject of much discussion, even though people in the West are very familiar with teachers and value education highly. This has raised the following questions in Flanders (Belgium): Does society value teachers and what status does it grant them in comparison with other occupations? Teachers are often attributed a high amount of prestige in technologically poor societies. However, the perception that the elementary school teacher had high status in the first half of the 20th century in Belgium has been qualified by historical research. The prestige of elementary school teachers never did reach the level of that of the more traditional professions such as medicine or law. This was also the case for secondary school teachers, as we shall see later in this article.