As the factors linked to improvements in student outcomes become more apparent, governments around the world are looking at the quality of their teaching workforce. Teacher practice is at the heart of many discussions while efforts to develop and support teachers are continually being implemented and studied.
This report examines the working lives of new teachers through the TALIS 2008 survey of lower-secondary teachers and schools. New teachers are defined as having two years or less of teaching experience. In most countries, new teachers assume virtually the same teaching responsibilities as more experienced teachers, but they report that they often lack the necessary classroom management skills for effective teaching and learning. Their classrooms often have insufficient time devoted to teaching and learning and poorer disciplinary climate.
Why are New Teachers Important?
The first chapter summarises the key policy issues around which this report is centred. These include discussions of new teachers and the schools in which they work, the support and development that new teachers receive and the work and the efficacy of new teachers. This introduction also describes the key features of the TALIS 2008 dataset, including the sampling used in TALIS and how this affects the analysis of new teachers that is discussed throughout the report. The background information provided in this chapter is particularly important given the implications for comparisons made between new and experienced teachers.
The Schools where New Teachers Work
The conditions in which new teachers are working and the schools in which new teachers work have an impact on teachers’ ability to provide effective instruction. This chapter examines issues such as classroom climate, the socio-economic characteristics of students in these schools, as well as the materials and personnel resources available to these schools. The socioeconomic characteristics of students in these schools are also discussed as well as the materials and personnel resources available to these schools. Comparisons are made between the school conditions facing new teachers and the schools in which more experienced teachers are working.
Support and Development Initiatives for New Teachers
A central policy issue for many countries is the support and development available for new teachers. This chapter analyses the appraisal and feedback received by new teachers and looks at the impact it has on the teaching of new teachers. Issue such as the frequency of teacher appraisal and feedback and its focus are discussed. Chapter 3 also studies the professional development undertaken by new teachers and analyses the amount and type of professional development undertaken. Attention is given both to the professional development needs expressed by new teachers, which is an important issue to policymakers. Considerable analysis is devoted to the reports of new teachers compared to more experience teachers.
The Work of New Teachers
Teaching practices are at the centre of the debate of what constitutes effective teaching. The work of new teachers, including their teaching practices and professional collaboration, is explored in Chapter 4. This discussion explores the work and teaching load of new teachers, along with an analysis of new teachers’ contractual status and job satisfaction. As teaching beliefs are often found to play a role in teachers’choice of teaching practices, a discussion of teaching beliefs of new teachers compared with those of more experienced teachers is also presented in this chapter.
How Effective are New Teachers?
While TALIS 2008 does not include any external judgement of individual teacher’s effectiveness, teachers are asked to report on their own feelings of self-efficacy. These reports encompass a number of aspects of teaching such as teacher’s reports of their success with their students. An important aspect of effective classroom teaching is time-on-task. The amount of classroom time that new teachers spend on teaching, compared to more experienced teachers, is also discussed in this chapter. In addition, the time that new teachers devote to administrative duties and classroom management issues is examined in relation to the amount of time spent on teaching and learning.
Based on the discussions and analyses in this report and the comparisons of the working lives of new and more experienced teachers, this chapter now summarises the findings of the report in terms of their policy implications. Four points are presented that might offer the greatest opportunities for improving schooling in countries. These include discussions of the job differentiation between new teachers and more experienced teachers, the amount and type of appraisal and feedback provided to new teachers, learnings about mentoring and induction programmes, and the support and development needed by new teachers to improve classroom management.
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