2018 OECD’s Teaching and Learning International Survey – TALIS covering about 260,000 teachers in 15,000 schools across 48 countries and economies is now available.
TALIS survey is repeated every 5 years and aims to collect information comparable at international level and relevant for the development and implementation of policies addressed to teachers and school leaders focalising especially on aspects affecting students’ learning.
TALIS 2018 findings will be released in two volumes. The first volume, Teachers and School Leaders as Lifelong Learners, published on 19 June 2019, explores the knowledge and skills dimension of teachers and school leaders’ professionalism. The second volume, Teachers and School Leaders as Valued Professionals, to be published in early 2020, will focus on prestige, career opportunities, collaborative culture and responsibility, and autonomy.
ITALY – Some data merging from the country note
In Italy, TALIS submitted a questionnaire to a representative sample of 4000 teachers and their school principals from 200 schools that were randomly selected for the study. 3612 lower secondary teachers and 190 principals completed the TALIS questionnaires.
From the official note drawn out of the questionnaire emerged some main data:
In Italy, teachers are, on average, 49 years old, (OECD average 44 years old ) and 48% of teachers in Italy are aged 50 and above (OECD average 34%). Principals are, on average, 56 years old (OECD average 52 years old). Furthermore, 32% of principals in Italy are aged 60 and above, compared to 20% on average across the OECD.
In Italy, 69% of principals are women, compared to 78% of teachers. This can be benchmarked against the OECD averages of 47% of women among school leaders and 68% among teachers.
In terms of classroom environments, relations between students and teachers are positive overall, with 97% of teachers in Italy agreeing that students and teachers usually get on well with each other. However, 3% of principals report regular acts of intimidation or bullying among their students, which is lower than the OECD average (14%).
In Italy, 35% of teachers work in schools where at least 10% of the students have a migrant background (OECD average 17%).
Teaching was the first-choice career for 65% of teachers in Italy and for 67% in OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS. In terms of why they joined the profession, at least 79% of teachers in Italy cite the opportunity to influence children’s development or contribute to society as a major motivation.
Overall, a vast majority of teachers and school leaders view their colleagues as open to change and their schools as places that have the capacity to adopt innovative practices. In Italy, 74% of teachers also report that they and their colleagues support each other in implementing new ideas. This is lower than the average share across the OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS (78%).
During their initial education and training, 64% of teachers in Italy were instructed on subject content, pedagogy and classroom practice – a share that is lower than the average of OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS (79%). In Italy, 25% of teachers report having participated in some kind of formal or informal induction when they joined their current school, compared to 42% of teachers across OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS.
While school principals across the OECD generally consider mentoring to be important for teachers’ work and students’ performance, 22% of novice teachers (with up to 5 years of experience) have an assigned mentor. In Italy, this share amounts to 5%. However, in Italy newly hired teachers are required to be supported by a tutor during the trial year.
Taking part in some kind of in-service training is commonplace among teachers and principals in Italy, with 93% of teachers (OECD average 94%) and 100% of principals (OECD average 99%) attending at least one professional development activity in the year prior to the survey. Attending courses and seminars is one of the most popular types of professional development for teachers across the OECD. In Italy, 81% of teachers participate in this kind of training, while 25% of teachers participate in training based on peer learning and coaching. Teachers in Italy appear satisfied with the training they received, as 84% report that it had a positive impact on their teaching practice, a share that is higher than the average of OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS (82%). However, some areas of professional development are still lacking, according to teachers. Across the OECD, developing advanced ICT skills is one area in which teachers say that they need more training, along with teaching in multicultural/multilingual settings and teaching students with special needs. Among these three areas, teachers in Italy expressed a higher need for training in ICT for teaching.
On average in Italy, 47% of teachers “frequently” or “always” let students use ICT for projects or class work, which is lower than the average of OECD countries and economies participating in TALIS (53%).
On average in Italy, 31% of school principals report that delivery of quality instruction in their school is hindered by a shortage or inadequacy of digital technology for instruction (compared to 25% across the OECD).