TALIS underpins the importance of teachers

June 2014

The latest Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) has proven, that collaboration on management decisions with teachers and educators is crucial to high quality education.

Photo: © Charlotte Fischer

As the largest international teachers' survey, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Teaching and Learning International Survey targeted more than 100,000 lower secondary teachers and school leaders from 34 countries and economies to find out more about the working conditions and learning environments in their schools. 

The TALIS 2013 results specifically highlight the conditions under which teachers carry out the most important part of their job, namely teaching and facilitating active learning. The survey presents, as the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), as Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), says “a clear road map for what teachers and their students need – evidence-based interventions for disadvantaged students, high-quality teacher preparation, time to collaborate, sufficient resources and respect for the profession”.

The 2013 edition of TALIS focuses on five main topics: school leadership, teacher training, appraisal of and feedback to teachers, teachers’ pedagogical beliefs, attitudes and teaching practices, teachers’ reported feelings of self-efficacy, their job satisfaction and the climate in the schools and classrooms in which they work.

TALIS reveals, that less than a third of teachers believe that teaching is valued as a profession by society. However, it shows also, that if teachers feel in control of their professional lives, in and outside school, and if they have high levels of job satisfaction and self-efficacy, then their belief that society values teaching is much stronger.

The survey should have powerful implications for government policy by showing that a valued education profession means that people in society most committed to making a positive difference to young people’s lives will want to become teachers. On the contrary, in what may be the most important message from TALIS, policies which undermine the self-confidence of teachers are self-defeating for the quality of education.

This is second time TALIS has been carried out since the inaugural survey in 2008. The OECD has already begun planning for the next TALIS, to be conducted in 2018.

Source: Education International

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