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How can countries prepare teachers to face the diverse challenges in today’s schools? The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) helps answer this question by asking teachers and school leaders about their working conditions and the learning environments at their schools. TALIS aims to provide valid, timely and comparable information to help countries review and define policies for developing a high-quality teaching profession. It is an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to provide input into educational policy analysis and development in key areas. Themes explored include professional development, school leadership, teaching practices, school climate, appraisal and feedback, job satisfaction and teacher profiles.

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Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments

Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments

First Results from TALIS You do not have access to this content

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21 July 2009
9789264068780 (PDF) ;9789264056053(print)

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This publication is the first report from the International Teaching and Learning Survey (TALIS). It provides quantitative, policy-relevant information on the teaching and learning environment in schools in 23 countries and has a focus on lower secondary education.

School effectiveness research consistently shows that the quality of the learning environment is the most important policy-malleable factor for positive student learning and student outcomes. In recognition of this, TALIS explores key policies and practices that shape the learning environment.

The important role that school leadership can play in creating effective schools is well documented. TALIS illustrates the roles and functions that school leaders adopt within schools – often facing quite different circumstances - and examines how these roles support teachers in their work. Retaining and developing effective teachers is a priority in all school systems and TALIS examines how teachers‟ work is recognised, appraised and rewarded and how well the professional development needs of teachers are being addressed.

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of TALIS is the insights it provides on the teaching beliefs that teachers bring to the classroom and the pedagogical practices that they adopt. TALIS cannot measure which practices or beliefs are most effective but it does show how these associate with some of the conditions that are pre-requisites for effective schooling.

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  • Foreword
    The challenges facing education systems and teachers continue to intensify. In modern knowledge-based economies, where the demand for high-level skills will continue to grow substantially, the task in many countries is to transform traditional models of schooling, which have been effective at distinguishing those who are more academically talented from those who are less so, into customised learning systems that identify and develop the talents of all students. This will require the creation of "knowledge-rich", evidence-based education systems, in which school leaders and teachers act as a professional community with the authority to act, the necessary information to do so wisely, and the access to effective support systems to assist them in implementing change.
  • Reader's Guide
    This report presents statistics and analysis derived from the survey responses of teachers of lower secondary education (level 2 of the International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED-97)) and the principals of their schools.
  • Introduction
    The OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey is the first international survey to focus on the working conditions of teachers and the learning environment in schools. Its aim is to help countries to review and develop policies that foster the conditions for effective schooling.
  • A Profile of the Teacher Population and the Schools in Which They Work
    TALIS examines key policy issues such as teachers’ professional development; teachers’ teaching practices, beliefs and attitudes; teacher appraisal and feedback; and school leadership. Data have been collected on a number of characteristics of schools and teachers which provide not only essential background information for analysis of these issues but also school- and system-level factors that are important for teachers and teaching. This chapter presents analyses of these characteristics, and helps set the scene for the following analytical chapters.
  • The Professional Development of Teachers
    In many countries, the role and functioning of schools are changing and so is what is expected of teachers. Teachers are asked to teach in increasingly multicultural classrooms; to place greater emphasis on integrating students with special learning needs in their classrooms; to make more effective use of information and communication technologies for teaching; to engage more in planning within evaluative and accountability frameworks; and to do more to involve parents in schools.
  • Teaching Practices, Teachers' Beliefs and Attitudes
    Teachers’ beliefs, practices and attitudes are important for understanding and improving educational processes. They are closely linked to teachers’ strategies for coping with challenges in their daily professional life and to their general well-being, and they shape students’ learning environment and influence student motivation and achievement. Furthermore they can be expected to mediate the effects of job-related policies – such as changes in curricula for teachers’ initial education or professional development – on student learning. TALIS examines a variety of beliefs, practices and attitudes which previous research has shown to be relevant to the improvement and effectiveness of schools. Using representative data from 23 countries, this chapter presents a cross-cultural comparative analysis of profiles, variations and interrelationships of these aspects as they shape teachers’ working environment.
  • School Evaluation, Teacher Appraisal and Feedback and the Impact on Schools and Teachers
    The framework for evaluation of education in schools and for appraisal and feedback of teachers are key TALIS concerns. Evaluation can play a key role in school improvement and teacher development (OECD, 2005). Identifying strengths and weaknesses, making informed resource allocation decisions, and motivating actors to improve performance can help achieve policy objectives such as school improvement, school accountability and school choice. Data were collected from school principals and teachers on these and related issues, including the recognition and rewards that teachers receive. Analysis of the data has produced a number of important findings for all stakeholders.
  • Leading to Learn
    Teachers teach and work in schools that are usually administered by managers, often known as principals or headmasters. School administration is itself often part of larger administration units. The conditions of teachers’ working life are influenced by the administration and leadership provided by principals, and it is widely assumed that school leadership directly influences the effectiveness of teachers and the achievement outcomes of students (e.g. Hallinger and Murphy, 1986; OECD, 2001; Pont, Nusche and Moorman, 2008).
  • Key Factors in Developing Effective Learning Environments
    A number of important issues discussed in this report play an important role in school education. Chapter 3 discusses the professional development of teachers and issues such as its impact and teachers’ professional development needs. Chapter 4 identifies a number of teaching practices, beliefs and attitudes across TALIS countries and analysed, among other issues, their interaction and the factors associated with them. Teachers’ appraisal and feedback is the subject of Chapter 5 along with an analysis of school evaluation. Chapter 6 examines school leadership styles across and within TALIS countries as well as associations between such styles and various aspects of schools’ operations and the working lives of teachers. All analyses are supplemented by Chapter 2’s description of the characteristics of teachers and the schools in which they work.
  • References
  • Annex A.1
    This annex explains the indices (or scales) and other measures derived from the TALIS teacher and principal questionnaires. Terms enclosed in brackets < > in the descriptions were replaced in the national versions of the questionnaires by the appropriate national equivalent term.
  • Annex A2
    The Netherlands participated in TALIS but unfortunately was unable to meet the sampling requirements agreed by the TALIS Board of Participating Countries (see TALIS Technical Report [forthcoming]). Therefore, data from teachers and school principals collected in the Netherlands could not be included in the main contents of this report. Instead, some selected characteristics are described here to provide some information about teachers and school principals who completed the TALIS questionnaires in the Netherlands.
  • Annex A3
    TALIS is a collaborative effort, bringing together expertise from participating countries that share an interest in developing a survey programme to inform their policies about teachers, teaching and learning. This report is the product of collaboration and co-operation between the member countries of the OECD and the partner countries participating in the first round of TALIS. Engagement with bodies representing teachers and regular briefings and exchanges with the Trades Union Advisory Council at the OECD have been very important in the development and implementation of TALIS. In particular, the co-operation of the teachers and principals in the participating schools has been crucial in ensuring the success of TALIS.
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