Supporting Teacher Professionalism

OECD_logo_new.svgA new OECD report, Supporting Teacher Professionalism, based on the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), examines the nature and extent of support for teacher professionalism across 34 countries. Teacher professionalism is defined as the knowledge, skills, and practices that teachers must have in order to be effective educators.

The report focuses on lower secondary teachers in different education systems and looks at cross-cultural differences in teacher professionalism. It explores how teacher professionalism is linked to policy-relevant teacher outcomes such as perceived status, satisfaction with profession and school environment or perceived self-efficacy. The publication also tackles equity concerns in teacher professionalism: it examines professionalism support gaps, which are defined as differences in support for teacher professionalism in schools with high levels of disadvantage as compared to those with low levels of disadvantage. Finally, the report presents a number of policy-relevant recommendations to enhance teacher professionalism and equity in access to high-quality teaching in OECD member countries.

The report offers three main conclusions:

  • Education systems differ in terms of the emphasis placed on each of the teacher professionalism domains.
  • Across all systems there is a particularly positive relationship between knowledge and peer network domains and teacher satisfaction, self-efficacy and perceptions of the value of the teaching profession in the society.
  • Practices supporting teacher professionalism are less common in schools with higher proportions of socioeconomically disadvantaged students. However, investing in teacher professionalism can be particularly beneficial in these schools as the positive relationship between knowledge, peer networks and teacher satisfaction is amplified in challenging schools.

The results for the United States show a teacher professionalism model that combines high support for knowledge base and peer networks, with a low support for autonomy. Schools with higher numbers of students with special needs show even less support for the autonomy domain, although they do provide more support for teachers in the knowledge domain.

To read an executive brief, see

For U.S. specific results, see

To read the entire report, see