Classroom climate not only has been shown to affect student outcomes and attainment but is a prominent policy issue. Student behaviour and the creation of a safe and productive learning environment can be a challenging dimension of teachers’ work. How successful teachers feel they are with regard to their students’ education can be linked to productivity and can influence people’s actions in the workplace. When teachers envisage effective teaching as a skill that can be acquired, this feeling of self-efficacy can help them better analyse and solve problems. Conversely, those teachers confronting a low feeling of self-efficacy can experience self-doubt and become preoccupied with evaluative concerns if efforts proved unsuccessful. Of course each one of these factors is influenced by many others – some of which were included in TALIS. We will examine them in turn.
TALIS also offers important insights into teaching practices. Many factors can influence teaching practices in the classroom and many of the themes explored in TALIS are important contributors. In this section, I focus specifically on the beliefs and practices reported by teachers. Teachers who hold stronger beliefs about teaching methods, report more collaborative behaviour with colleagues and report more positive teacher-student relations feel more effective To improve teaching practice, teachers need first to become aware of how their own practice can be improved, and this requires principals, colleagues and support systems that help them in their diagnosis. And it is not just about building awareness of what they do, but also about the mindset underlying it. Teachers then need to gain a good understanding of specific best practice, which can generally only be achieved through the demonstration of such practices in authentic settings. Last but not least, individual teachers need to be motivated to make the necessary improvements. this also requires a deeper change that goes beyond material incentives and can only come about when teachers have high expectations, a shared sense of purpose, and above all, a collective belief in their common ability to make a difference to the education of the children they serve.
TALIS also shows that we need more effective mechanisms to assess and reward good teaching in ways that motivates teachers. While the majority of teachers receive feedback from their school principals, from other teachers or from an external body at least once a year, there are still nearly one in 4 (22%) teachers who report that they never receive feedback from their school principal, nearly a third (29%) who report that they never receive feedback from other teachers, and a half (51%) who report that they never receive feedback from an external individual or body. TALIS also shows that, on average across countries, just under one-third of teachers across TALIS countries worked in schools that had not seen an external evaluation in the last five years and one-fifth worked in schools that had not even conducted a self-evaluation. TALIS shows that in schools that are not evaluated, teachers are less likely to benefit from appraisal or feedback.
Education systems seek to provide teachers with opportunities for on-going professional development to fully prepare them for their work and to retain a high-quality teacher workforce. TALIS examined the take-up of professional development, the degree of unsatisfied demand for development and the factors that support or hinder meeting development needs.
Teachers’ demand for more professional development appears concentrated in certain areas. In particular, one teacher in three reports a high level of need for teaching students with special learning needs. This indicates a serious issue in terms of teachers’ capacity to deal with heterogeneous learning groups.
Supporting new teachers in the early phases of professionalisation – Evidence from TALIS 2008 Dirk Van Damme Head of the Centre for Educational Research and Innovation - OECD