International Comparison of Teachers in Grades 7-9

Nine out of 10 American teachers in grades 7-9 are satisfied with their jobs but have low opinions of how the profession is perceived. That’s according to results from the 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).  

When asked whether the teaching profession is valued by society, only 36 percent of teachers either “agree” or “strongly agree,” the report found. The belief that society values the teaching profession varied widely across TALIS education systems, ranging from 5 to 92 percent of lower secondary teachers who “agree” or “strongly agree” with this sentiment.

Other findings show that, compared to teachers in 49 other surveyed countries:

  • Proportionately more U.S. lower secondary teachers held a bachelor’s degree or higher than their international peers. 
  • U.S. teachers exceeded the TALIS average in the hours both teaching and working per week. 
  • Fewer U.S. teachers report a “high level of need” in each of 14 areas of professional development.
  • A lower-than-average percentage of U.S. teachers reported that they can adapt their teaching to students’ cultural diversity “quite a bit” or “a lot.” 

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