As the factors linked to improvements in student outcomes become more apparent, governments around the world are looking at the quality of their teaching workforce. Teacher practice is at the heart of many discussions while efforts to develop and support teachers are continually being implemented and studied. One segment of the teaching workforce that may need particular attention and support comprises teachers who are new to the profession. In some countries, up to half of new teachers leave the profession in their early years of teaching due to a variety of factors such as classroom climate and feelings of low self-efficacy.
These high levels of attrition carry costs in the areas of initial teacher training, recruiting and filling vacant positions. The OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is the first and only international survey on the conditions of teaching and learning. In TALIS 2008, teachers from 23 countries participated, providing powerful insights into the working conditions of teachers as well as teaching and learning practices in schools.
Cross-country analyses provide the opportunity to compare countries facing similar challenges and to learn about different policy approaches and their impact on the learning environment in schools. This report, “The Experience of New Teachers: Results from TALIS 2008”, uses data from the TALIS 2008 survey, in which eight percent of the respondents were teachers with two years or less of teaching experience.
Teachers and their principals reported on the teaching and learning environment of their schools and classrooms, focussing on issues such as classroom climate, the amount of time spent on classroom management as compared to actual teaching and learning, the kinds of early support new teachers receive, as well as the ongoing professional development opportunities offered. Teachers also provided information on their own feelings of self-efficacy as a teacher and on areas in which they felt they lacked skills and could benefit from additional professional development. Data such as these enable the comparison of the experience of new teachers to that of more experienced teachers and shed some light on the learning experience of students in both kinds of classrooms.
This report examines not only the differences between new and more experienced teachers, but provides a context within which these differences – and any similarities – can be better interpreted. Finally, the report highlights the policy implications that might be considered as a result of this data analysis.