Early childhood and schools

Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS



 Executive summary (English / Spanish) | Findings | Table of contents
Tables and figures | 2008 dataHow to obtain this publication | News releases 
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ISBN: 9789264056053
Publication: 16/6/2009


Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS

OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) provides the first internationally comparative perspective on the conditions of teaching and learning, based on data from over 70,000 teachers and school principals who represent lower secondary teachers in the 23 participating countries. TALIS examines important aspects of professional development; teacher beliefs, attitudes and practices; teacher appraisal and feedback; and school leadership. TALIS looks at these factors through the eyes of teachers and school principals. This innovative approach was chosen in order to examine how the intended school and teacher policies of education systems are actually perceived and implemented in schools and classrooms, recognising that the best intentions will only yield results if effectively and consistently implemented in the frontline.

The study, Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS, representing over 2 million teachers, focuses on teachers appraisal and feedback, their professional development, the teaching practices and beliefs and school leadership. The objective aim is to identify barriers to effective instruction.  The report presents quantitative information for policymakers. Countries participating: Australia, Austria, Belgium (Flemish Community),  Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Korea, Lithuania, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain and Turkey.

The Excel™ spreadsheets used to create the tables and charts in this book are available via the StatLinks printed in this book.


  • Teachers are actively embracing many of the challenges highlighted in this report. In most countries, the large majority of teachers are satisfied with their jobs and consider that they make a significant educational difference for their students. Teachers are also investing in their professional development, both in terms of their time and often also in terms of money, an investment which goes hand in hand with a wider repertoire of pedagogic strategies used in the classroom.  It is worrying that, on average across countries, three-quarters of teachers report that they would receive no recognition for increasing the quality of their work or for being more innovative in their teaching. In fact, three-quarters of teachers say that, in their school, the most effective teachers do not receive the most recognition and that their school principal does not take steps to alter the monetary rewards of a persistently underperforming teacher
  • Better support for effective teaching is needed through teacher appraisal and feedback. The generally positive reception by teachers of the appraisal and feedback which they receive on their work indicates a willingness in the profession to move forward. And it’s not just a bureaucratic exercise, but teachers generally report that appraisal and feedback make a difference in their work.
  • TALIS highlights better and more targeted professional development as an important lever towards improvement. But TALIS also shows that we need to do better in matching the costs and benefit as well as supply and demand for professional development. Relatively few teachers participate in the kinds of professional development which they find has the largest impact on their work, namely qualification programmes and individual and collaborative research.
  • The hardest issues to grapple with relate to actually improving teaching practice. Teachers in most countries report using traditional practices aimed at transmitting knowledge in structured settings much more often than they use student-oriented practices, such as adapting teaching to individual needs. And even less so do they use enhanced learning activities that require a deeper cognitive activation of students.
  • TALIS suggests that effective school leadership plays a vital role in teachers’ working lives and that it can make an important contribution to shaping the development of teachers. In schools where strong instructional leadership is present, TALIS shows that school principals are more likely to use further professional development to address teachers’ weaknesses identified in appraisals. Often, there are also better student-teacher relations, greater recognition given to teachers for innovative teaching practices and more emphasis on developmental outcomes of teacher appraisals and more collaboration between teachers.
  • The close associations that TALIS shows between factors such as a positive school climate, teaching beliefs, cooperation between teachers, teacher job satisfaction, professional development, and the adoption of a range of teaching techniques provide indications that public policy can actively shape the conditions for effective learning. At the same time, the fact that much of the variation in these relationships lies in differences among individual teachers rather than among schools or countries underlines the need for individualised and targeted programmes for teachers rather than just whole-school or system-wide interventions that have traditionally dominated education policy.

Table of contents

  • Foreword
  • Reader’s Guide
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction
  • Chapter 2 - A profile of the teacher population and the schools in which they work
  • Chapter 3 - The professional development of teachers
  • Chapter 4 - Teaching practices, teachers’ beliefs and attitudes
  • Chapter 5 - School evaluation, Teacher appraisal and feedback and the impact on schools and teachers
  • Chapter 6 - Leading to learn: School leadership and management styles
  • Chapter 7 - Key factors in developing effective learning environments: Classroom disciplinary climate and teachers’ self-efficacy
  • References.
  • Annex A1 - Technical Notes on Survey procedures and analysis
  • Annex A1.1 - Construction of indices and other derived measures
  • Annex A1.2 - TALIS sampling procedures and response rates
  • Annex A1.3 - Quality assurance
  • Annex A1.4 - Technical notes on multiple regression analyses
  • Annex A2 - Selected characteristics of data collected from the Netherlands
  • Annex A3 - The development and implementation of TALIS – a collaborative effort

Tables and figures

2008 data

How to obtain this publication

Readers can access the full version of Creating Effective Teaching and Learning Environments: First Results from TALIS choosing from the following options:

News releases

Briefing notes

Overviews of countries

 Multilingual summaries



 View interview with Michael Davidson (in English)


 View interview with Andreas Schleicher (in German)


 View interview with Diana Toledo (in Spanish)