Microsoft_0040Have you heard of TALIS?, if not, I bet you have heard of PISA, the worldwide evaluation in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries of 15-year-old students scholastic performance, performed first in 2000 and repeated every three years. It is coordinated by the OECD with a view to improving educational policies and outcomes.

So what is TALIS? another PISA?, we were lucky to have an explanation at our recent Partners in Learning European Forum in Lisbon. One of the Keynote presentations was from Senior Analyst at OECD, Kristen Weatherby. ( Yes, that is the very same Kristen that used to hang around with the Partners in Learning UK Team.)

In her presentation, Kristen was clear that the OECD believe that effective teaching and teachers are key to producing high performing students. TALIS is the Teaching and Learning International Survey and is the first international survey to focus on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers in schools. She also made the point that this survey is not about ranking teachers and their performance. The OECD plan to use the data to :-

•Analyse data based on research questions that correspond to country priorities.

•Provide international data comparisons for countries.

•Examine implications of data for education policy.

•Look at the conditions that promote effective teaching.

During her Keynote, Kristen presented some of the types of questions that could appear in future surveys. The audience was asked for their response and the outcomes discussed.

Why not try the sample survey for yourself at http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QJSPBJC – I will publish the results on this blog in a few weeks.

For me, the most surprising findings for these questions that Kristen elaborated on, were the responses to the questions ‘

For the professional development in which you participated in the last 18 months, on average, how much did you personally have to pay for? ‘   and

‘What impact did the professional development activities have on your teaching?’

The pilot survey found that most effective professional development teachers said they had experienced was that they paid for themselves. Which is very interested in a world where Twitter is often quoted by Teachers as ‘the best professional development I have ever had’

So what do you think? Is TALIS going to help Governments form and devise policy to support teachers to implement effective teaching, or like some sceptics have suggested, will it be another stick to beat the profession with. Your thoughts and comments would be most welcome.