OECD Education Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies drawing on the work of the OECD Directorate for Education. Authorship is usually collective, but principal writers are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language (English or French) with a short summary available in the other.

English, French

Teaching Strategies for Instructional Quality

Insights from the TALIS-PISA Link Data

This report explores the relationships between mathematics teachers’ teaching strategies and student learning outcomes in eight countries, using information from the TALIS-PISA link database. First, the study seeks to understand the shaping of teaching strategies by examining the way teachers use different classroom practices and the prevalence of these strategies among teachers across schools and countries. As a result of this exploration, three teaching strategies are put forward: active learning, cognitive activation and teacher-directed instruction. Second, the report aims at identifying the teaching strategies that are positively associated with student skill acquisition. Third and finally, it analyses the contributions of the school and the classroom settings, the teacher background and beliefs, to the implementation of the teaching strategies found to be positively related to student learning outcomes. Results show that cognitive activation strategies and, to a lesser extent, active learning strategies, have a strong association with students’ achievement in mathematics. However, this association seems to be weaker in schools with socio-economically disadvantaged students. Also, teachers from the same school tend to share the same approach to teaching, which indicates that these teaching strategies are part of a “teaching culture” within the school. Teacher self-efficacy and teacher collaboration are shown to be the factors more often associated with the implementation of cognitive activation strategies and active learning. Following on from these findings, the paper concludes with a series of policy recommendations.


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