The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) (a large-scale international comparison study, run by the OECD, “designed to increase the international information available to participating countries on teachers, teaching and the impact that teachers can have on student learning”) has published its 2013 results, from more than 100,000 secondary teachers across 34 countries, which include England for the first time.
Its findings include:
- 69% of respondents (65% in England) said they did not think that teaching was “valued in society”.
- More than 90% cent of teachers said they were satisfied with their job and almost four-fifths would choose to join the profession again if they had the chance, although many find themselves working “in isolation”.
- A third of teachers said they observed their colleagues in the classroom, with over half never or rarely take part in team-teaching with colleagues. Those teachers who worked more closely with colleagues reported higher levels of job satisfaction.
- The vast majority of teachers in England reported receiving appraisals from at least one senior colleague, but many expressed concerns about the usefulness of the exercise. 51% described the process as “largely done to fulfill administrative requirements”, while just 43% were of the view that consistently underperforming colleagues were “likely to be dismissed”. Michael Davidson, the OECD’s head of early childhood and schools, said: “Teachers in England get… more feedback than [in] just about any other country, [but] the question is, is that feedback making a difference? The evidence [suggests] it isn’t making as much of a difference as it is on some other countries… It isn’t affecting what they do in the classroom, it isn’t having any positive effect on their self-confidence.”
- Teachers in England are working 46 hours per week in term time, above the international average of 38 hours, with only Singapore, 48 hours, and Japan, 54 hours, working longer. (Teachers in Italy worked 29 hours per week, Finland’s teachers 32 hours, South Korea’s 37 hours per week.)
- In Poland, 8% of lessons were lost to poor behaviour and 20% in Brazil. In England, teachers spent 11% of lesson time on poor behaviour.
- Apart from Singapore, England has the youngest teaching force of any of the education systems in the survey. It has fewer head teachers over the age of 60 than any other developed country.