Education Journal

The Oversupply of Teachers in Taiwan: Causes and Consequences

2013.第41卷第1–2期(Vol. 41 Nos. 1–2).pp. 107–133

The Oversupply of Teachers in Taiwan: Causes and Consequences


Hsiao-Jung LI(李曉蓉)


This article explores the causes and consequences of the oversupply of primary teaching workforce both in the teaching labor market and in the teaching workplace in Taiwan by examining the historical development of teacher training and its relationship with government policies and social contexts. It uses data from government publications, reports and official statistics, coupled with findings of local Taiwanese research and my ethnographic case study. After the enactment of Teacher Education Act in 1994, there has been expansion of teacher training and diversification of training routes. However, with Taiwan’s declining fertility rate, teaching vacancies for qualified teachers have been scarce, resulting in the oversupply of teachers. This article further argues that the oversupply of primary school teachers is the result of an obvious decline in pupil enrollments, combined with low teacher turnover rates and the prevalence of young teachers among the overall teaching body.

Keywords: primary teaching; teacher surplus; teacher training in Taiwan