Supporting Teacher Professionalism. Insights from TALIS 2013


Work data:

ISBN: 978-92-64-24860-1

Type of work: Report




This report examines the nature and extent of support for teacher professionalism using the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) 2013, a survey of teachers and principals in 34 countries and economies around the world. Teacher professionalism is defined as the knowledge, skills, and practices that teachers must have in order to be effective educators.

The report focuses on lower secondary teachers (ISCED 2) in different education systems and looks at cross-cultural differences in teacher professionalism. It explores how teacher professionalism is linked to policy-relevant teacher outcomes such as perceived status, satisfaction with profession and school environment or perceived self-efficacy. The publication also tackles equity concerns in teacher professionalism: it examines professionalism support gaps, which are defined as differences in support for teacher professionalism in schools with high levels of disadvantage as compared to those with low-levels of disadvantage. Last but not least, the report presents a number of policy-relevant recommendations to enhance teacher professionalism and equity in access to high-quality teaching in OECD member countries.


"Maintaining high professional practices takes various forms, most of which emphasise peer collaboration and networks of information exchange, knowledge sharing and collective standard setting. In practice, responsibility for maintaining high professional standards means active engagement in other teachers’ development through participation in school learning communities, engaging in peer feedback, and participation in mentoring and induction programmes at the school level." (p.34)

Peer networks can take the shape of (p34-36):

  • Mentoring.
  • Induction.
  • Professional development plans.
  • Peer feedback.
  • Professional learning communities.

"Given the link between teacher professionalism and important policy-relevant outcomes, the analysis suggests that policy interventions to support teachers – articularly those that support their knowledge base and networks of peer communities – have important effects on teachers’ perceptions and job satisfaction. Overall, this means that supporting teachers in these ways may help education systems recruit and retain teachers who are more satisfied, confident in their abilities and committed to teaching." (p.71)

"Meanwhile, the knowledge base scale is most strongly linked to perceived self-efficacy, which suggests that supporting teachers’ professional development and learning is associated with higher levels of confidence in their teaching abilities. In contrast, practices supporting peer networks are more strongly linked to teachers’ satisfaction with their current work environment, which suggests that the collaborative and mentoring practices that provide supportive communities in which teachers can learn and refine their teaching has a positive relationship with their satisfaction with their jobs." (p.76)