In this part of Digest 17 we provide the summarised results of Kazakhstani teachers’ participation in the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (Volume 2)
In 2018, Kazakhstani teachers for the first time participated in the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). The study has been conducted since 2008 once every 5 years. In 2018, 48 countries and economies of the world participated in the study. Teacher professionalism is analyzed in TALIS 2018 by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in terms of the five main pillars: the knowledge and skills necessary for teaching, career opportunities and working conditions, the culture of collaboration between teachers, the responsibility and autonomy granted to teachers, and the status of the teaching profession.
The first volume of TALIS 2018 results was published on June 19, 2019. The second volume of TALIS “Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals” was published on March 23, 2020. The report provides an in-depth analysis of the status of the teaching profession, teachers’ working conditions, professional collaboration and collegiality at school, leadership and autonomy of teachers.
How does society and teachers perceive the status of the teaching profession?
Most teachers in OECD countries (90%) and Kazakhstan (91%) are satisfied with their job. School principals express higher level of satisfaction than teachers do (OECD – 95%; Kazakhstan – 96%).
However, only 26% of teachers and 37% of school principals in OECD countries agree that their profession is valued in society. Male teachers, teachers under the age of 30, and novice teachers are more likely to believe that the profession is valued more than female teachers and teachers aged 50 and older. In Kazakhstan, 63% of teachers and 77% of school principals agree that their profession is valued in society. In general, school principals across countries rate the status of the teaching profession higher than teachers do. In addition, there are more rural teachers (69%) who believe that their profession is valued than urban teachers (49%) in Kazakhstan.
Stress at work influences teachers’ job satisfaction and their intention to stay in the profession. 48.7% of teachers in OECD countries experience significant and very significant level of stress; in Kazakhstan – 14.3%. 43% of Kazakhstani teachers experience stress at work “quite a bit” and “a lot” because of teacher attestation, 42% – because of extra work within the framework of the “Vseobuch” programme. 36% of Kazakhstani teachers reported that they are stressed because of student preparation for final exams and Unified National Testing.
34% of teachers in OECD countries and 33% of teachers in Kazakhstan think that it would be better to change their profession. In Kazakhstan, there are 2 times more young teachers under the age of 30 (40%) than teachers aged 50 and over (21%) who report that they would prefer to change their profession. 25% of teachers in OECD countries and 26% of teachers in Kazakhstan plan to leave the profession within the next 5 years. 14% of teachers in OECD countries and 15% of Kazakhstani teachers aged 50 and younger also want to quit teaching within the next 5 years.
What are the teachers’ working conditions and what do they think about them?
82% of teachers in OECD countries and 84% of Kazakhstani teachers are employed on permanent contracts. It is recommended that as many teachers as possible be covered by permanent contracts. In Kazakhstan, 51% of teachers are satisfied with the terms of their contracts, excluding their salaries. In OECD countries, the share of such teachers is bigger (66%).
39% of teachers in Kazakhstan and 39.4% of teachers from OECD countries are satisfied with their salaries. There are slightly more school principals who are satisfied with their salaries (Kazakhstan – 42.8%; OECD – 46.5%).
Kazakhstani teachers from rural schools (53%) are more satisfied with their salaries than teachers from urban schools (21%). Teachers from private schools (71%) are also more satisfied with their salaries than teachers from public schools (42%). Teachers who report that their school provides them with the opportunities to participate in school decisions and support their professional development, also tend to be more satisfied with the terms of their employment contract, not counting the salary.
How do teachers interact with each other and what is the effect of this interaction?
The interaction of teachers has a significant impact on their effectiveness and the development of professionalism. In the educational process, it can be in the form of teaching, providing feedback based on lesson observation, participation in joint professional development activities.
Teachers tend to use basic methods of collaboration, such as discussing the progress of particular students with colleagues (on average, 61% of teachers in OECD countries; 73% in Kazakhstan) and, to a lesser extent, exchange teaching materials with colleagues (47% in OECD countries; 63% in Kazakhstan).
However, fewer teachers engage in deeper forms of professional collaboration. 9% of teachers in OECD countries and 61% of teachers in Kazakhstan say they provide colleagues with feedback based on observations, and 21% of teachers in OECD countries and 32% of teachers in Kazakhstan participate in joint professional development activities at least once a month.
The lack of professional collaboration is worrisome given the impact that collaboration can have on the development of 21st-century teaching. TALIS 2018 results revealed that teachers who regularly collaborate with their peers are also more likely to report using cognitive activation teaching strategies or developing high-order skills among children. Professional collaboration is also associated with higher teacher job satisfaction and self-efficacy.
To what extent can educators control and influence the educational environment?
According to the OECD experts, enhancing the leadership of school principals and school autonomy can help to increase the effectiveness of educational activities in schools. 63.3% of school principals from OECD countries are responsible for making decisions regarding hiring and dismissing teachers, distributing school finances, setting teachers’ salaries, evaluating teachers and students, choosing the school curriculum and textbooks, etc. In Kazakhstan, the share of such school principals is 50%. At the same time, private school principals (73%) have greater autonomy than public school principals (49.8%).
According to 42% of the OECD school principals, their teachers are responsible for school policy, curriculum, and instruction. In Italy, Estonia, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Iceland teachers have the greatest autonomy. In Kazakhstan, the share of schools where teachers have high autonomy is low (17%).
As noted by the OECD experts, mainly private school teachers have greater autonomy in Kazakhstan. To enhance teacher professionalism and their status, it is necessary to trust teachers more and involve them in the decision-making process regarding school policies, curricula, and other matters. 77% of teachers in OECD countries and 86% of Kazakhstani teachers said that they have an opportunity to participate in decision-making at the school level, which has a positive influence on school climate.
OECD (2020), TALIS 2018 Results (Volume II): Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals, TALIS, OECD Publishing, Paris.