The OECD Teaching and International Survey (TALIS) 2018 data released

published 19 June 2019 updated 21 June 2019

The latest Teaching and international Survey (TALIS) 2018 report released by the OECD illustrates the issues teachers face in their workplace; focusing on working time and training of teachers.

The latest Teaching and international Survey (TALIS) 2018 report released by the OECD illustrates the issues teachers face in their workplace, focusing on working time and training of teachers.

The report, embargoed until Wednesday, 19 June provides information on key issues and many insights on the teaching profession.

Lack of novice teacher training and development

Another issue that was repeatedly raised was the lack of resources available for teachers’ professional development. For novice teachers, in addition to often not having support from decent induction programs, less than one quarter are assigned a mentor, despite proven positive benefits. Peer networking is also shown to be relatively low. Many teachers do not feel that teaching provides a suitable career path for them.

The General Secretary of Education International (EI), David Edwards, commented, “The report is scathing about the poor treatment of novice or beginning teachers. It urges governments to reduce their teaching load, put in place proper induction programmes and give paid non-teaching time to novice teachers and mentors alike.”

Additionally, while the report demonstrates training teachers were instructed in subject content, pedagogy and classroom practice, there is a lack of training in areas of increasing relevance, specifically ICT, teaching in a multi-cultural setting, and teaching those with special needs. This is of concern given the large number of teachers working at schools where at least ten percent of students have a migrant background. To ameliorate this situation, TALIS proposed training systems to enable  student teachers to study abroad as well as supporting government funding to attract more qualified teachers.

Teachers motivated by contributing to child development

The TALIS 2018 report shows that most teachers were motivated to teach by being able to make a difference in children’s lives. For two out of three teachers, teaching was their first choice career.

The OECD supports maintaining a highly-trained, competent teaching workforce. It warns governments of the dangers of fast-track ways of producing qualified teachers without the essential precautions concerning deep qualifications and competencies. This cautionary view and discussions are in keeping with and supportive of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Less time spent on teaching and an aging profession

Over the last five to ten years, the time spent teaching in a classroom has significantly declined. According to the report, the reason for the decline is the amount of time spent keeping order in the classroom, which shows  that pupil behaviour continues to be  a key issue for many teachers.

Another important finding of the TALIS report re-affirms that the teaching workforce is aging in most countries, with an average teacher age of 44. This indicates an urgent need for teacher recruitment. The report recommends transparent recruitment campaigns that stress the important and positive impact of teachers.

More information to come

The second volume of the TALIS report will  be published in March 2020.  It will include information on teacher well-being and stress, demographics and more and therefore be able to broaden out the implications of the findings.

“The report contains powerful messages about improving the professional lives of teachers and the importance of qualified to teachers in the classroom.  However, teachers and their unions will have to wait for the next volume before getting a 360 degree picture of the profession in the early 21st century,” according to David Edwards.