TALIS - The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey

Changing interests and sustained knowledge in the TALIS 2018 framework


TALIS 2018 is the third cycle of this international survey of teachers and school leaders. The main data were collected in late 2017/early 2018, and initial results and data are expected to be published in June 2019. The survey’s conceptual framework reflects major concepts from research literature, as well as policy interests, and was developed by researchers in consultation with international stakeholders and participating countries/economies. The 2018 framework is organised under 11 themes that address both emerging issues in teaching and learning – including new themes of equity and diversity and innovation – and enduring issues from the two previous cycles in 2008 and 2013. TALIS 2018 focuses on lower secondary education, but also provides information about primary and upper secondary education for those countries that choose either of the options that address these levels.


What do teachers tell us about their work and what matters to them?

John Ainley - Australian Council for Institutional Research (ACER)
Ralph Carstens - International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA)
Heather Price - (Marian University)


Teachers have a significant impact on student learning, which is why effective education systems set out to attract, develop, retain and support high-quality teachers. But too little is known about what teachers do to nurture student learning, the ways in which schools and education systems support teachers’ work, or how approaches to teaching and learning differ across countries. That’s why we’ve asked teachers to share their own experiences with us.

In late 2017 and early 2018, the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) surveyed more than 240,000 teachers and 13,000 principals in nearly 50 countries and economies. The study surveyed lower secondary schools in all countries, with some countries also participating at the primary and upper secondary levels. When released in June 2019, results from the survey will provide insights about the conditions in which teachers work and, more importantly, their perspectives on a wider range of educational matters. Through comparing TALIS 2018 results to those from previous cycles (2008 and 2013), we can also gain a sense of how their perceptions of education issues changed (or not) across time.

The conceptual framework for the survey is organised around 11 themes, covering both emerging issues in teaching and learning, such as innovation, and those that endured across previous cycles, such as school leadership. The framework incorporates major concepts from research literature as well as policy interests, and was developed in consultation with international stakeholders and participating countries and economies.

As part of a collaboration between the TALIS International Consortium and the OECD, we asked teachers about their teaching practices (e.g. classroom management or assessment) and about professional practices that extend beyond the classroom (e.g. collaboration, participating in school decision making). We also investigated the professional characteristics of teachers that influence their practices, according to research: educational background and initial preparation; professional learning and feedback; professional confidence, or self-efficacy; satisfaction and motivation; and career expectations. TALIS can map the links between professional characteristics and practices for each of these influences, including both instructional and professional practices.

Teaching and professional practices, of course, are used across many different school contexts. To better understand these contexts, we gathered information about school and classroom composition, as well as school climate (academic and other aspects), leadership (including its distribution and sharing), and recognition and reward systems for teachers. The 2018 survey also emphasises the extent to which school contexts support teacher innovation in practice and pedagogies, and the ways in which education systems, schools and teachers address matters of diversity – especially cultural diversity.

TALIS provides cross-national perspectives on teaching and teacher’s work that can inform developments in policy and practice. Our upcoming 2019 analyses will be used for three main purposes:

  • generating comparisons of indicators across countries
  • determining relationships between indicators
  • modelling relationships between and among indicators at different levels (country, school and teacher) and under different educational contexts.

The TALIS conceptual development is grounded in real-world policy interests, and is designed to provide the data needed to address complex questions. Fortunately, we can count on the willingness of participating teachers and principals to provide this information and share their views.

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