Kesa sent me this article about how the exodus of teachers out of the profession isn't really about "burnout".

People get into teaching for moral reasons, and they are leaving for moral reasons.

Teachers are demoralized, and their departure from the profession is often an act of a conscientious objection, not of personal burnout.

Focusing on "burnout" puts the onus on individuals rather than the systemic conditions that actually need attention.


The author of this recent Nature article did a good job of highlighting systemic issues:

"Nature spoke to more than a dozen scientists leaving academia, who describe toxic work environments, bullying and a lack of regard for their safety and well-being as factors in their decisions."

"Others who face systemic racism and sexism are finding themselves forced out, partly owing to structural biases."


My sister (in the UK) is one of those about to make an exit. Two Master's degrees, nearly done with a PhD, loads of experience, recipient of prestigious research grants...and she wants out.

No fulfillment from the work, always chasing the next grant, always having to prove herself in the face of hostile critique. Soul-depleting.

@glyph yes, exactly -- the full on shift to a for-proft model without support is one of the underlying systemic issues I think? This is partly manifesting in public schools here in the US as more effort is put on investing in educational technology, and educators scramble up administrative ladders only to jump ship into corporations that are profiting.


@edsu @glyph

Same old same old. A decade in treadmill academia was sufficient for me - the 90s. It's more pernicious now. Relieved that's no longer a necessity for this baby-boomer person.

But it was a version of this that drove him out of corporate cadetship and 'back to school' as a postgrad in the 70s! p11: Walker's long march thro the emotional institutions.

@mike_hales actually the original context for this wasn't academia per se, but public k-12 education in the US. I think it is useful to think through how some of the systematic problems have been (and have not been) a constant.

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