Closing the Teacher Gap

Closing the Teacher Gap

Researching the Challenges and Opportunities for International Teacher Recruitment and Retention You do not have access to this content

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Commonwealth Secretariat
01 Mar 2010
9781848590670 (PDF)

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With a shortfall of 18 million teachers in the numbers required to meet the education Millennium Development Goals, research on the global teaching force becomes critical in informing planning and preparation for future learners.  Yet data about teachers across all regions of the Commonwealth is not yet reliable enough or adequate for truly effective planning and policy-making. Since 2006, the Commonwealth Secretariat has held a series of research symposia to explore aspects of this data gap in an attempt to help address the problem. This publication reports on the proceedings of the fourth symposium, held in conjunction with the US National Education Association, which looked particularly at international teacher mobility, recruitment and retention, and the significance of this research for the future of education, globally.

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  • Executive Summary

    The Fourth Commonwealth Teachers’ Research Symposium is the most recent in a series of research events conducted by the Commonwealth Secretariat since 2006 in direct response to the request of Commonwealth Ministers of Education to undertake research to monitor the status, mobility and recruitment of teachers as presented in the future actions of the Commonwealth Teacher Recruitment Protocol (Stoke Rochford, 2004). Studies undertaken in 2006 revealed the unreliability and inadequacy of data and research about teachers across all regions of the Commonwealth and called on member countries to do more to capture teacher data for planning and policy-making. Symposium 2009, hosted by the National Education Association (NEA), the largest union and organisation of teachers in the USA, is the first time that one of these research symposia was held in a non-Commonwealth country.

  • The Washington Statement on Teachers

    Researchers, officials and representatives of regional and international organisations meeting for the Fourth Commonwealth Teachers’ Research Symposium hosted by the National Education Association (NEA) of the United States in Washington, DC, USA, and co-ordinated by the NEA and the Commonwealth Secretariat, agreed to the following, over a two-day period during which research and data were presented and shared with all participants: The evidence of high levels of teacher attrition in many countries globally has serious implications for the future of the teaching profession. Evidence-based research on teachers must be used to influence teacher policy and practice along with greater adherence to international standards on teachers, especially the ILO and UNESCO standards of 1966 and 1997. Traditional routes to teacher training and qualifications are not always sufficient to address attrition in the profession. Improved induction, mentoring, terms and conditions of employment and different modalities in teaching training must be explored.

  • Opening of the Symposium

    The Fourth Commonwealth Teachers’ Research Symposium was officially opened on the evening of Wednesday, 18 March 2009 at the Press Conference Room of the US National Education Association, headquartered in Washington, DC. Following a brief introduction and welcome from Mr John Wilson, Executive Director, NEA, Dr Caroline Pontefract, Director, Social Transformation Programmes Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, brought a message from the Secretariat.

  • The Symposium – Day One

    The symposium commenced by focusing on the theme ‘Closing the Teacher Gap – What the Research Tells Us’. Chaired by Ms Samidha Garg, International Relations Officer of the UK National Union of Teachers (NUT), the session opened with brief introductions on each presenter provided by the Chair.

  • The Symposium – Day Two

    The second day of the Symposium opened with a main address from Mrs Maxine Henry- Wilson, former Minister of Education, Youth and Culture of Jamaica and Education Consultant and Lecturer in Public Policy at the University of the West Indies. The chair of the session, Dr Caroline Pontefract, Director, Social Transformation Programmes Division, Commonwealth Secretariat, introduced the former minister.

  • Symposium Programme
  • List of Participants
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