Are Teachers Getting the Recognition They Deserve?

by Kristen Weatherby

Senior Analyst, Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)

More and more countries are having discussions about how to evaluate the quality of their teaching workforce and, subsequently, how to reward teachers for their work. The OECD’s newest series of briefs, Teaching in Focus, launches this month with a discussion of the appraisal and feedback teachers receive and the impact of both on their teaching.

Teaching is often thought to be an isolating profession, with teachers receiving little or no feedback that enables them to improve their teaching practice. Data from the  Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)  supports this claim in many countries, indicating that more than one in five of all teachers in the 24 countries surveyed report never received a formal appraisal of their teaching practice. Indeed even those teachers who are receiving formal appraisals may not ever learn the results of those appraisals. In several countries, teachers reported never receiving any feedback on their work regardless of whether they had received a formal appraisal.
Yet teachers are eager for information that will help them improve their teaching. The vast majority of teachers (79%) feel that the appraisal and feedback they have received are helpful in the development of their work. Those teachers who do receive appraisal and feedback report changes in their teaching practice as a result of this information, especially in the areas of improving student test scores, student discipline and classroom management. Furthermore, teachers in nearly half of TALIS countries find that being publicly recognised for their work is closely connected to their own feelings of self-efficacy.
The message seems pretty clear: If countries want to improve the quality of their teachers, they need to provide teachers with feedback on their teaching that helps them make changes to their practice.
To learn more about this topic, check out this month’s Teaching in Focus brief. Look for further Teaching in Focus briefs on topics relevant to the experience of teachers in the coming months.

Follow TALIS and Kristen Weatherby @Kristen_Talis
Photo credit: Blue stage with falling stars / Shutterstock

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