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Teachers Matter

Attracting, Developing and Retaining

Effective Teachers
Why teacher policy is high
on national agendas?
• Far-reaching economic and social changes
underway have made high-quality schooling
more important than ever before.
• Teachers are the most significant resource in
• Improving the efficiency and equity of schooling
depends on ensuring that competent people
want to work as teachers, that their teaching is
of high quality, and that all students have access
to high-quality teaching.
• The enthusiasm and morale of the current
teacher workforce are important influence on
future teacher supply.
• Large number of teachers are retiring.
Why is teacher policy important?
• Quality teaching is vital for improving
student learning.
• Teachers are significant in the labor force
and in school budget.
• Teacher policy concerns are intensifying.
What are the factors that
influence student learning?
• Student’s skills, expectations, motivation
and behavior;
• Family resources, attitudes and support;
• Peer group skills, attitudes and behavior;
• School organization, resources and
• Curriculum structure and content; and
• Teacher skills, knowledge, attitudes and
1st and most solidly based findings
from research on student learning

• The largest source of variation in student

learning is attributable to differences in
what students bring to school.
– Abilities and attitudes,
– Family background
– Community background
2 finding

• Factors involving teachers and teaching are the

most important influences on student learning.
– “Teacher quality” is the single most important school
variable influencing student achievement.
– Moving from an average to the 85th percentile of
teacher quality would lead to students improving by 4
percentile ranking in a given year, which equal to the
effect of reducing the class size by 10.
– Students of the most effective teachers (the highest
quintile) have learning gains 4 times greater than
students of the least effective teachers (the lowest
– Differences among teachers explain up to 23% of the
variation in student test score.
3 finding

• Lack of consistently clear and strong effects of

commonly measured characteristics of teacher quality
– Research studies are often faced with little variation in some of
the characteristics (e.g. formal qualifications)
– “Threshold effect”: Teachers need a certain level of qualifications
or experience to be effective, but further attainments beyond
those levels may be progressively less important for student
• There are many important aspects of teacher quality that
are not captured by the commonly used indicators.
– The ability to convey ideas in clear and convincing ways; to
create effective learning environments for different types of
students; to foster productive teacher-student relationships; to
be enthusiastic and creative; and to work effectively with
colleagues and parents.
Teachers are significant in the labor
force and in school budget
• On average in OECD countries, teachers
constitute about 2.6% of the total labor force.
• Teaching is the largest employer of graduate
labor. (e.g. 60% more than nurses and twice
accountants in Australia)
• On average, 64% of current expenditure on
schools is allocated to teachers compensation.
(equivalent to 5% of total public expenditure, or
2% of GDP)
Teacher policy concern are
• Profound economic and social changes
• Imperatives for schools to provide the
foundation for lifelong learning
• Incorporation of ICT into the administrative
and scholastic life of the school
• Greater gender equality within schools
• Greater integration of students with
special needs within mainstream
Concerns about the attractiveness
of teaching as a career
• About half the countries seriously concern about
maintaining an adequate supply of good quality
teachers, especially in high-demand subject
• Concerns about long-term trends of the teaching
workforces, e.g. fewer “high achievers” and
fewer males.
• Concerns about the image and status of
teaching, and teachers often feel that their work
is undervalued.
• Teachers’ relative salaries are declining in most
Concerns about developing
teachers’ knowledge and skills
• Almost all countries concern about
“qualitative” shortfalls: whether enough
teachers have the knowledge and skills to
meet school needs.
• Concerns about the limited connections
b/w teacher education, teachers’
professional development, and school
• Lack of systemic induction programmes
for beginning teachers.
Concerns about recruiting,
selecting and employing teachers
• Concerns about the inequitable
distribution of teachers among schools,
and whether students in disadvantaged
areas have the quality teachers that they
• Schools often have little direct involvement
in teacher appointments.
• Some countries have a large oversupply
of qualified teachers, which raises other
policy challenges.
Concerns about retaining effective
teachers in schools
• High rates of teacher attrition, especially
among new teachers.
• Concerns about the effects of heavy
workloads, stress and poor working
environments on job satisfaction and
teaching effectiveness.
• Limited means to recognize and reward
teachers’ work.
• Processes for responding to ineffective
teaching are often cumbersome and slow.
Teacher quantity and quality
are interlinked.
• On average, 25% of primary and 30% of
secondary teachers are over 50.
• Response to teacher shortages in the
short term:
– Lowering qualification requirements for entry
– Assigning teachers to teach in subject in
which they are not fully qualified
– Increasing the number of classes that
teachers are allocated
– Increasing class sizes.
Policy at two levels
The quality of teaching is determined not
just by the “quality” of teachers – although
that is clearly critical – but also by the
environment in which they work.
Common Policy Direction
Emphasizing teacher quality
over teacher supply
• Key ingredients in a teacher quality:
– More attention to the criteria for selection into initial
teacher education and employment
– Ongoing evaluation throughout the teaching career for
improvement, recognizing and rewarding effective
– Ensuring that teachers have the resources and support.
– System structures ensure that teachers are able to
focus on the intrinsic benefits of teaching. (e.g. working
with children and young people, helping them to
develop, and making a contribution to society)
Developing teacher profiles to align
teacher development and performance
with school needs
• Need to have clear and concise statements of
what teachers are expected to know and be able
to do.
Teacher profiles: strong subject matter knowledge,
pedagogical skills, the capacity to work effectively
with a wide range of students and colleagues, to
contribute to the school and the profession, and the
capacity to continue developing.
• Need to embody the teacher profiles throughout
the school and teacher education systems.
Viewing teacher development as a
• Need to create a more coherent learning and
development system for teachers.
• Supporting teachers in the early stage of their
• Providing incentives and resources for ongoing
professional development.
• In general, better value from improving induction
and development throughout their careers rather
than lengthening the pre-service education.
Making teacher education more
• Providing more routes into the profession:
– Post-graduate study following an initial
qualification in a subject matter,
– Opportunities for those who are teachers’
aides to gain full qualification,
– Possibility for mid-career changes
Transforming teaching into a
knowledge-rich profession
• How to sustain teacher quality and ensure all
teachers continue to engage in effective ongoing
professional learning is a challenge.
• Teachers need to be active agents in analyzing
their own practice in professional standards, and
their own students’ progress in the standards for
student learning.
• Teachers developing a research role alongside
their teaching role, with teachers engaging more
actively with new knowledge.
Providing schools with more
responsibility for personnel
• The process of teacher selection is often highly
impersonal and it is hard for teachers to build a
sense of commitment to the schools and vise
• Schools need to have more responsibility and
accountability for teacher selection, working
conditions, and development.
• Schools need more skilled leadership teams and
stronger support, especially disadvantaged
Developing and Implementing
Teacher Policy
• Unless teachers are actively involved in
policy formulation, and feel a sense of
“ownership” of them, it is unlikely that
substantial changes will be successfully
• Institutional arrangement: Teaching
Council for professional autonomy and
public accountability