Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Celebrating teachers and new ones at that!

by Julie Belanger
Analyst, OECD, Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

World Teachers' Day, held every year on 5 October, was started by UNESCO in 1994. Today, 18 years later (long enough for a generation to have started and completed school), we join our colleagues in celebrating teachers the world over.

The aim of World Teachers' Day is to mobilise support for teachers to ensure that the needs of future generations will continue to be met.

Of all the school factors that can influence students’ achievement, teachers in the classroom have by far the biggest impact. Recruiting, retaining, and developing effective teachers is therefore critical to the needs of future students and a priority in all school systems world wide. Our OECD programme, Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) helps to inform these policy priorities by examining the ways in which teachers’ work is recognised, appraised and rewarded.

TALIS also assesses the degree to which teachers’ professional development needs are being met. It provides insights into the beliefs and attitudes about teaching that teachers bring to the classroom and the pedagogical practices they adopt.

Recognising the important role that school leadership plays in fostering an effective teaching and learning environment, TALIS describes the role of school leaders and examines the support that they give their teachers.

The first cycle of TALIS (TALIS 2008) was so successful with data gathered for 24 countries across four continents that a second cycle is currently under preparation (TALIS 2013). More than 30 countries have now joined the programme (and still counting!), including Australia, Belgium Fl., Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada (Alberta), Chile, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, UAE (Abu Dhabi), United Kingdom (England) and the United States.

But back to teachers, we are excited about a forthcoming report on the working lives of lower-secondary teachers in the first two years of their careers (new teachers). This report comes out of the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2008. It takes a look at:
  • The importance of new teachers
  • The schools where new teachers work
  • Support and development initiatives for new teachers
  • The work of new teachers
  • Effectiveness of new teachers, and
  • Policy implications
With a focus on differences between the experiences of new and experienced teachers, the report helps readers understand the unique challenges new teachers face and grasp important policy implications.

A report for teachers, parents and policy makers alike, we look forward to sharing it with you in the weeks to come. Bookmark it here and follow us on twitter at @OECD_Edu to find out when it is released.

Happy World Teachers' Day, everyone!

Related links
Experience of New Teachers, to be released soon
OECD work on education

Photo credits: © Mike Kemp/Rubberball Productions/Getty Images
© Laurence Mouton/PhotoAlto Agency RF Collections/Inmagine ltb.

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