International Summit on the Teaching Profession

2312-7090 (online)
2312-7082 (print)
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The International Summit on the Teaching Profession brings together education ministers, union leaders and other teacher leaders from high-performing and rapidly improving education systems to review how best to improve the quality of teachers, teaching and learning. Each year, Summit organisers produce a report on the state of the profession that is used as a springboard for discussions. This series is a collection of those reports.

Teaching Excellence through Professional Learning and Policy Reform

Teaching Excellence through Professional Learning and Policy Reform

Lessons from around the World You do not have access to this content

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Andreas Schleicher
22 Feb 2016
9789264252059 (PDF) ;9789264252042(print)

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If the quality of an education system can never exceed the quality of its teachers, then countries need to do all they can to build a high-quality teaching force. Teaching Excellence through Professional Learning and Policy Reform: Lessons from around the World, the background report to the sixth International Summit on the Teaching Profession, describes the knowledge, skills and character qualities common to the most effective teachers. It examines the education policies and practices that help teachers to acquire these tools, including through induction and mentoring programmes, ongoing professional development activities, student assessments, and collaboration with colleagues. The publication also discusses the importance of involving all stakeholders – especially teachers – in the process of education reform.

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  • Foreword

    The skills that students need to contribute effectively to society are changing constantly, but school systems are not keeping up. Most schools look much the same today as they did a generation ago, and many teachers feel insufficiently prepared to develop the practices and skills required to meet the diverse needs of today’s learners.

  • Executive Summary

    Today’s teachers need to prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, to use technologies that have not yet been invented, and to solve social problems that haven’t arisen before. Teachers have to do more than transmit educational content: they have to cultivate students’ ability to be creative, think critically, solve problems and make decisions; they have to help students work better together, by developing their ability to communicate and collaborate; they have to build students’ capacity to recognise and exploit the potential of new technologies; and they have to nurture the character qualities that help people to live and work together.

  • What knowledge, skills and character qualities do successful teachers require?

    The demands on student learning in the 21st century have profound implications for teachers and teaching. In addition to continuously updating their own knowledge of the subjects they teach, teachers are expected to work with multicultural classes, integrate students with special needs, be "assessment literate", work and plan in teams, assume some leadership roles and provide professional advice to parents, among other tasks. This chapter defines some of the knowledge, skills and character attributes required for effective teaching, including content and pedagogic knowledge, communication and organisational skills, and self-efficacy and motivation.

  • What policies can help teachers acquire the knowledge and skills they need?

    This chapter defines teacher professionalism, and describes some of the policies and practices that help develop and enhance it. These include fostering a collaborative culture in schools, providing induction programmes and peer mentoring, focusing on student assessment, strengthening the links between teacher appraisal and professional development, involving teachers in developing professional standards, and engaging teachers in education reform. The chapter highlights examples of effective policies and practices from around the world.

  • What can governments do to implement education policies effectively?

    Education reform will not happen unless educators endorse and implement it. This chapter discusses some of the actions that could help turn policies into practice, including acknowledging divergent views and interests, communicating the rationale for reform, fostering consensus, engaging stakeholders – including teachers – in designing and implementing policies, ensuring there is sufficient capacity and resources, and building partnerships with education unions to design and implement the reforms. The chapter presents examples of related initiatives from around the world.

  • Professional teachers, successful reforms

    This chapter summarises the key skills and attributes of 21st-century teachers, the most effective ways to develop teacher professionalism, and how best to design and implement education reform.

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