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

Who Needs Special Education Professional Development?

International Trends from TALIS 2013

Although access to formal education has improved internationally for children with disabilities, concerns remain about education quality for this student population. Using data on 121 173 teachers from 38 countries in the 2013 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), this study examined the qualifications and professional development (PD) needs of teachers who work with children with special needs. The results indicate that teachers responsible for students with special needs had, on average, lower qualifications, worked in itinerant positions more frequently and expressed greater professional development need than colleagues who did not teach students with special needs. The need for professional development among teachers who taught special needs students was lowest in schools with greater instructional leadership. Additionally, only a small percentage of teachers reported that their professional development had a positive impact on their instruction. The paper discusses policy implications for teacher recruitment and designing professional development.


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