What do we really know about teaching?

by Kristen Weatherby

Senior Analyst, Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS)

I have often heard it said that everyone thinks they are an expert on education simply because they went to school. This is an overstatement, of course, but it does seem today that more and more people have – and express – an opinion about teachers and the quality of their teaching.

But what do we really know about how the majority of teachers are teaching today? Data from the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) show that on average across TALIS countries, 13% of teachers did not receive any appraisal or feedback on their teaching. In several countries, this number approaches a quarter or even half of teachers in the country. One can imagine these teachers as completely alone, teaching with the door closed and never receiving feedback on how to improve their practice.

The eighth Education Fast Forward online debate will take place today to discuss in more detail the development of new teaching practices, with the objective of driving deeper learning for every learner. Michael Fullan, the esteemed former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto will open the debate. Recognised as a worldwide authority on education reform, Michael will first explore the concept of new pedagogies and what they might lead to. He will then look at how teachers might use technology to develop and change the way students learn, and how changes in teaching over the coming decades could be greater than those that occurred over the past 2 000 years.

I will then take a closer look at what the TALIS data tell us about teachers’ practices today and what factors might contribute to how teachers are currently behaving in their teaching. Research shows that high-quality teaching is linked to the use of a variety of classroom teaching practices that include both student-led and teacher-directed approaches. I will look at what the international data say on whether today’s teachers are equipped to teach in this manner and what kind of support they are receiving to develop their practice.

Michael and I will be joined by education experts from all over the world who will contribute their insights and experiences to this global conversation. The debate will be streamed live to Promethean Planet from 12.00 until 14.30 GMT. Join us to get an inside look at what is really happening in classrooms around the world, and how this might change in the future.

For more information about Education Fast Forward, visit  www.PrometheanPlanet.com/EFF
To learn more about TALIS visit www.oecd.org/talis or follow @Kristen_TALIS on Twitter.

Photo credit: Classroom © Shutterstock

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