Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 2

WHY PROFESSIONALISM MATTERS?

If you were to search for the term teacher professionalism on the Internet, you may come
across websites recommending professional dress code or look for teachers. Although this
may be of some use to a new teacher, appearance is not what most policy makers, school
leaders and teachers have in mind when they insist on the need for a quality professional
teacher force.
So what exactly do we mean when we talk about teacher professionalism? The
new Teaching in Focus brief: Teacher professionalism uses results from the Teaching and
Learning International Survey (TALIS) to show that teacher professionalism is about a
teachers knowledge, their autonomy and their membership of peer networks. These are the
key elements that lead to more effective teaching.
Based on the new OECD report: Supporting teacher professionalism: Evidence from TALIS
2013, the brief shows that different countries focus on different aspects of teacher
professionalism. For example, some systems put more emphasis on supporting the teacher
knowledge base through activities such as incentivising teacher professional development,
some focus on autonomy through giving more decision making to teachers (e.g. over the
course offerings or teaching content), and some focus on peer networks through cultivating
strong networks of teachers.
These different practices are an important basis for a quality teaching force and they also
impact on how teachers feel about their work. Teachers are more satisfied and confident,
and have a higher perception of the value of the teaching profession in society, when there is
more support for peer networks and development of knowledge base.
Practices that support strong teacher professionalism are particularly beneficial in schools
with a high population of socio-economically disadvantaged students, second-learners or
students with special needs (high needs schools). Teachers in such schools can face many
challenges that are unfamiliar to teachers in well-performing, low needs schools.
Unfortunately, practices to support teacher professionalism are, in many countries, less
frequent in high than in low needs schools. This is a missed opportunity to provide a boost to
teachers in challenging situations, particularly because the positive relationship between
teacher professionalism and job satisfaction is amplified in high needs schools.
The OECD report provides clear recommendations to systems wanting to cultivate teaching,
and in particular teacher professionalism. To increase teacher professionalism, systems
should provide induction and mentoring programmes, create incentives for participating in
professional development, and boost teacher collaboration. By supporting these practices,
stakeholders can build a teaching force that is more professional, happier and more
confident. The results will might not be seen in a teachers appearance, but definitely in the
quality of the teaching and learning.