Technical briefing on the TALIS results for the EU

June 25, 2014
The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), first launched in 2008, asks teachers and schools (ISCED level 2) about their working conditions and the learning environments. It covers important themes such as initial teacher education and professional development; what sort of appraisal and feedback teachers get; the school climate; school leadership; and teachers’ instructional beliefs and pedagogical practices. TALIS provides cross-country analysis that helps countries identify others facing similar challenges and learn about their policies. Michael Davidson, Head of Early Childhood Education and Schools Division in the OECD’s Education and Skills Directorate, presented the key findings; Jan Pakulski, Head of Unit for Statistics, Studies and Surveys for Education and Culture in the Commission, elaborated the relevance of the findings for European policy making on teaching.

Three main recommendations:
 Teachers are more likely to feel prepared for their job when their formal education includes a combination of content, teaching and learning methods, with classroom practice for the subjects they teach.
Recommendation: Teacher education should cover all these areas to better prepare teachers for their career. In terms of their professional development, there should be more focus on using ICT in the classroom and the skills required for teaching pupils with special needs.
 Nearly 40% of school leaders report that no formal induction or early career support programme is offered at their school; the availability of such programmes is particularly low in PT, PL and ES.
Recommendation: Member States should ensure that Initial Teacher Education is followed up by systematic early career support. EU Education Ministers recently agreed to strengthen teacher education and to develop competence frameworks that clearly state the skills and qualities required from teachers at different stages of their careers.
 15% of teachers report that they did not participate in a professional development activity over the previous year; around 50% of teachers never observe each other's classes; nearly 20% never take part in collaborative learning.
Recommendation: Member States should put more emphasis on effective professional development and collaborative learning as it encourages teachers to use innovative teaching and learning methods (e.g. teaching small groups; use of ICT) and also increases job satisfaction for teachers. Varied learning methods better prepare pupils for further studies and the job market, as illustrated by the European Commission's policy initiatives on Rethinking Education and Opening up Education.