NZ teachers professional, confident and satisfied at work

Issue: Volume 95, Number 4

Posted: 7 March 2016
Reference #: 1H9d0h

New Zealand teachers are among the most professional in the world and are satisfied with their schools and their jobs, according to two new reports.

Analysis of a 2013 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) survey of Year 7–10 teachers and their principals showed that they have a high level of job satisfaction in their workplaces.

The Teaching and Learning International Study (TALIS) ranked New Zealand fourth in professionalism out of 35 participating countries, behind the Russian Federation, Estonia and Singapore.

OECD analysis shows that New Zealand scored well in teacher preparation, support for professional development and access to networking with peers, for example, the availability of mentoring programmes in schools and receiving feedback from direct observations. The majority of principals reported that Year 7–10 teachers in their schools played an active role in decision making over content and materials.

One of the report’s main findings was that, unlike many other countries, there was no drop in professionalism at socioeconomically disadvantaged schools. This shows that
New Zealand students have access to great teachers, no matter what their background.

In New Zealand more than 2,800 Year 7–10 teachers and their principals responded to the survey at primary, intermediate and secondary schools.

The Ministry of Education has also analysed the results of the study, focusing on teachers’ job satisfaction and self-efficacy – the belief in their ability to perform well at work.

New Zealand teachers were as confident as their international colleagues or more so in most aspects of self-efficacy, including classroom management, instruction and student engagement, and in job satisfaction.

A number of OECD studies have linked high teacher job satisfaction and self-belief with improved student achievement.

Ministry research highlights relating to New Zealand Year 7–10 teachers are:

  • 96 percent feel they can provide an alternative explanation for students, compared with the TALIS average of 92 per cent, 94 per cent in Australia, 88 per cent in Singapore, and 77 per cent in Finland.
  • 94 percent feel they can make their expectations about student behaviour clear, compared with the TALIS average of 91 per cent, 93 per cent in Australia, 89 per cent in Singapore, and 93 per cent in Finland.
  • 92 percent enjoy working at their school, compared with the TALIS average of 90 per cent, 92 per cent in Australia, 86 per cent in Singapore, and 91 per cent in Finland.
  • 89 percent feel the advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages, compared with the TALIS average of 77 per cent, 89 per cent in Australia, 84 per cent in Singapore, and 95 per cent in Finland.
  • 86 percent feel they can help students value their learning, compared with the TALIS average of 81 per cent, 81 per cent in Australia, 81 per cent in Singapore, and 77 per cent in Finland.

The Ministry’s TALIS analysis, which is the fourth in the Ministry’s Insights for Teachers series, can be found on the Education Counts website(external link) and the OECD analysis on the OECD website(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 3:05 PM, 7 March 2016

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