Insights for Teachers: Year 7-10 teachers' self-efficacy and job satisfaction

Publication Details

This is the third 'Insights for Teachers' focusing on TALIS.

In this Insights for Teachers, we report on teachers’ self-efficacy and job satisfaction, as reported in the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS).

Author(s): Chris Cockerill, Debra Taylor and Nicola Marshall, Evidence, Data and Knowledge, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: February 2016

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Summary

In its report on TALIS 2013 the OECD describes self-efficacy as "individuals' beliefs about their capabilities to successfully accomplish a particular course of action." The OECD also reports that a number of studies have demonstrated positive associations between teachers' sense of self-efficacy and higher levels of student achievement and motivation, teachers' job satisfaction and teaching behaviour. 

Teacher job satisfaction consists of satisfaction with the profession and satisfaction with the current work environment. It is also associated with student achievement, as it plays a key role in teachers' attitudes and efforts in their daily work with children.

Self-Efficacy

In the TALIS questionnaire, teachers were asked, "In your teaching, to what extent can you do the following?" and could choose one of four responses for each item: 'Not at all', 'To some extent', 'Quite a bit' or 'A lot'. Individual items for self-efficacy can be grouped into three aspects: efficacy in classroom management, efficacy in instruction, and efficacy in student engagement. 

Efficacy in classroom management 

  • Control disruptive behaviour
  • Make my expectations about student behaviour clear
  • Get students to follow classroom rules
  • Calm a student who is disruptive or noisy

94% of New Zealand teachers in TALIS felt they could "make my expectations about student behaviour clear" either quite a bit or a lot. This is higher than the TALIS average of 91%. For the remaining three classroom management items, New Zealand is similar to the TALIS average. 

The New Zealand and Australian percentages are all very similar, as are the comparisons with Finland, with the exception of calming a student who is disruptive or noisy. This item is the one that teachers are least confident in across all the comparison countries. For this item, 85% of New Zealand teachers are confident in their ability to do this but Finland was quite a bit lower, with 77% of teachers reporting they could do this quite a bit or a lot. New Zealand teachers are more confident about all these items than teachers in Singapore.

94% of New Zealand Year 7-10 Teachers feel they can make their expectations about student behaviour clear compared to the TALIS average of 91%
Figure 1: Efficacy in classroom management

Percentage of Year 7-10 teachers who feel they can do the following "quite a bit" or "a lot".

New Zealand
  • 94% make my expectations about student behaviour clear 
  • 90% get students to follow classroom rules
  • 87% control disruptive behaviour
  • 85% calm a student who is disruptive or noisy
TALIS average
  • 91% make my expectations about student behaviour clear 
  • 89%* get students to follow classroom rules
  • 87%* control disruptive behaviour
  • 85%* calm a student who is disruptive or noisy
Australia
  • 93%* make my expectations about student behaviour clear 
  • 89%* get students to follow classroom rules
  • 87%* control disruptive behaviour
  • 84%* calm a student who is disruptive or noisy
Singapore
  • 89% make my expectations about student behaviour clear 
  • 84% get students to follow classroom rules
  • 80% control disruptive behaviour
  • 75% calm a student who is disruptive or noisy
Finland
  • 93% make my expectations about student behaviour clear 
  • 87% get students to follow classroom rules
  • 86%* control disruptive behaviour
  • 77% calm a student who is disruptive or noisy

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand average.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An international Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.

Efficacy in instruction 

  • Craft good questions for my students
  • Use a variety of assessment strategies
  • Provide an alternative explanation, for example when students are confused
  • Implement alternative instructional strategies in my classroom

New Zealand and Australia are again very similar for efficacy in instruction with the most notable difference being in confidence to use a variety of assessment strategies. 81% of New Zealand teachers felt they could do this quite a bit or a lot, compared to 86% of Australian teachers. 

New Zealand sits above the TALIS average for two items: providing an alternative explanation (New Zealand 96%, TALIS average 92%) and implementing alternative instructional strategies (New Zealand 82%, TALIS average 77%). For the item, crafting good questions, New Zealand sits just below, but close to the TALIS average of 87%.

 New Zealand teachers are more confident than those in Singapore and Finland on all items in this group, with the exception of crafting good questions where a higher percentage of teachers in Finland (90%) say they can do this quite a bit or a lot (New Zealand 85%).

96% of New Zealand Year 7-10 Teachers feel they can provide an alternative explanation for students compared to the TALIS average of 92%
Figure 2: Efficacy in instruction

Percentage of Year 7-10 teachers who feel they can do the following "quite a bit" or "a lot"

New Zealand
  • 96% provide an alternative explanation 
  • 85% craft good questions for my students
  • 81% use a variety of assessment strategies
  • 82% implement alternative instructional strategies in my classroom
TALIS average
  • 92% provide an alternative explanation 
  • 87% craft good questions for my students
  • 82%* use a variety of assessment strategies
  • 77% implement alternative instructional strategies in my classroom
Australia
  • 94% provide an alternative explanation 
  • 86%* craft good questions for my students
  • 86% use a variety of assessment strategies
  • 83%* implement alternative instructional strategies in my classroom
Singapore
  • 88% provide an alternative explanation 
  • 81% craft good questions for my students
  • 72% use a variety of assessment strategies
  • 73% implement alternative instructional strategies in my classroom
Finland
  • 77% provide an alternative explanation 
  • 90% craft good questions for my students
  • 64% use a variety of assessment strategies
  • 68% implement alternative instructional strategies in my classroom

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand average.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An international Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.

Efficacy in student engagement

  • Get students to believe they can do well in school work
  • Help my students value learning
  • Motivate students who show low interest in school work
  • Help students think critically

New Zealand teachers are more confident about their ability to do all these items than the TALIS averages and the comparison countries' averages with one exception. The exception is the percentage of teachers who can motivate students who show low interest in school work, which is the same for New Zealand and the TALIS average at 70% and similar to Singapore (72%). 

Teachers are least confident about motivating students who show low interest in school work. This item has the lowest percentage across the self-efficacy items in all groups with the TALIS average at 70%. The next lowest item is being able to implement alternative instructional strategies, much higher at 77% of teachers.

86% of New Zealand Teachers in TALIS feel they can help their students value learning compared to the TALIS average of 81%
Figure 3: Efficacy in student engagement

Percentage of Year 7-10 teachers who feel they can do the following "quite a bit" or "a lot"

New Zealand
  • 91% get students to believe they can do well in school work
  • 86% help my students value learning
  • 83% help students think critically
  • 70% motivate students who show low interest in school work
TALIS average
  • 86% get students to believe they can do well in school work
  • 81% help my students value learning
  • 80% help students think critically
  • 70%* motivate students who show low interest in school work
Australia
  • 87% get students to believe they can do well in school work
  • 81% help my students value learning
  • 78% help students think critically
  • 66% motivate students who show low interest in school work
Singapore
  • 84% get students to believe they can do well in school work
  • 81% help my students value learning
  • 75% help students think critically
  • 72%* motivate students who show low interest in school work
Finland
  • 84% get students to believe they can do well in school work
  • 77% help my students value learning
  • 73% help students think critically
  • 60% motivate students who show low interest in school work

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand average.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An international Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.

Job satisfaction 

The TALIS questionnaire asked teachers how strongly they agreed or disagreed with a series of statements. Teachers could choose one of four responses: 'strongly disagree', 'disagree', 'agree', or 'strongly agree'. 

The job satisfaction statements can be grouped as: satisfaction with current work environment and satisfaction with the profession. 

Teachers' satisfaction with current work environment

  • I would like to change to another school if that were possible
  • I enjoy working at this school
  • I would recommend my school as a good place to work
  • All in all, I am satisfied with my job

Generally, the job satisfaction of New Zealand teachers is about the same as the TALIS averages and similar to both Australia and Finland. Singapore tends to have lower reported measures of job satisfaction. 

Although 25% of New Zealand teachers agreed that they would like to change to another school if that were possible, this is a similar level to Australia and not far above the TALIS average. In Singapore over a third of teachers agreed that they would like to change to another school.

92% of New Zealand Year 7-10 Teachers enjoy working at their school compared to the TALIS average of 90%
Figure 4: Teachers' satisifcation with their current work environment

Percentage of Year 7-10 teachers who agree or strongly agree

New Zealand
  • 90% all in all, I am satisfied with my job
  • 92% I enjoy working at this school
  • 86% I would recommend my school as a good place to work
  • 25% I would like to change to another school if that were possible 
TALIS average
  • 91%* all in all, I am satisfied with my job
  • 90% I enjoy working at this school
  • 84%* I would recommend my school as a good place to work
  • 21% I would like to change to another school if that were possible 
Australia
  • 90%* all in all, I am satisfied with my job
  • 92%* I enjoy working at this school
  • 86%* I would recommend my school as a good place to work
  • 23%* I would like to change to another school if that were possible 
Singapore
  • 88%* all in all, I am satisfied with my job
  • 86% I enjoy working at this school
  • 73% I would recommend my school as a good place to work
  • 35% I would like to change to another school if that were possible 
Finland
  • 91%* all in all, I am satisfied with my job
  • 91%* I enjoy working at this school
  • 87%* I would recommend my school as a good place to work
  • 16% I would like to change to another school if that were possible 

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand average.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An international Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.

Teachers' satisfaction with the profession

  • The advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages
  • If I could decide again, I would still choose to work as a teacher
  • I regret that I decided to become a teacher
  • I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession

Year 7-10 teachers in New Zealand are more satisfied with the profession than the TALIS averages, and on a par with Australia. Australian teachers are more likely to wonder whether it would have been better to choose another professionand a little more likely to regret deciding to become a teacher

29% of New Zealand teachers in TALIS agreed with the statement "I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession". In addition, only 5% of New Zealand teachers agree or strongly agree that they regret becoming a teacher, compared to the TALIS average of 10% and lower than both Australia and Singapore. Nearly 9 out of 10 New Zealand teachers agree that the advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages and 8 out of 10 would still choose to work as a teacher if they could decide again

In Singapore nearly half of all teachers wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession.

Figure 5: Teachers' satisifcation with the profession

Percentage of Year 7-10 teachers who agree or strongly agree

New Zealand
  • 89% The advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages
  • 81% If I could decide again, I would still choose to work as a teacher
  • 29% I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession
  • 5% I regret that I decided to become a teacher
TALIS average
  • 77% The advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages
  • 78% If I could decide again, I would still choose to work as a teacher
  • 32% I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession
  • 10% I regret that I decided to become a teacher
Australia
  • 89%* The advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages
  • 81%* If I could decide again, I would still choose to work as a teacher
  • 34% I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession
  • 7% I regret that I decided to become a teacher
Singapore
  • 84% The advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages
  • 82%* If I could decide again, I would still choose to work as a teacher
  • 46% I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession
  • 11% I regret that I decided to become a teacher
Finland
  • 95% The advantages of being a teacher clearly outweigh the disadvantages
  • 85% If I could decide again, I would still choose to work as a teacher
  • 28%* I wonder whether it would have been better to choose another profession
  • 5%* I regret that I decided to become a teacher

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand average.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An international Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.

Value of Teaching

Both teachers and principals were asked whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement "I think that the teaching profession is valued in society". In New Zealand 46% of teachers and 55% of principals agreed or strongly agreed with this statement. This is well above the TALIS averages of 31% and 44% respectively. New Zealand is in the top quarter of TALIS countries on this measure for teachers.

In Singapore, 68% of teachers think the teaching profession is valued in society. This is the second highest of any country participating in TALIS (well behind Malaysia with 84%). The percentage of teachers feeling that the profession is valued in society was close to or more than 50% in only 8 countries (including Finland). New Zealand falls in the next small group of countries where at least 40% of teachers think the profession is valued in society

A higher percentage of New Zealand principals (55%) than teachers agreed that the teaching profession is valued in society and this pattern of higher ratings by principals than teachers holds across most participating TALIS countries.

46% of New Zealand Year 7-10 Teachers agree that teaching is valued in society compared to the TALIS average of 31%
Figure 6: I think that the teaching prfession is valued in society

Percentage of Year 7-10 teachers who agree or strongly agree

New Zealand
  • 46% of teachers agree that teaching is valued in society
  • 55% of principals agree that teaching is valued in society 
TALIS average
  • 31% of teachers agree that teaching is valued in society
  • 44% of principals agree that teaching is valued in society 
Australia
  • 39% of teachers agree that teaching is valued in society
  • 57%* of principals agree that teaching is valued in society 
Singapore
  • 68% of teachers agree that teaching is valued in society
  • 95% of principals agree that teaching is valued in society 
Finland
  • 59% of teachers agree that teaching is valued in society
  • 79% of principals agree that teaching is valued in society 

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand average.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An international Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.

About TALIS 

TALIS asks teachers who teach students in any of Years 7, 8, 9 or 10, and their principals, about the conditions that contribute to their learning environments: their work, their schools and their classrooms. 34 countries and economies participated in TALIS 2013, including a total of more than 100,000 teachers and 6,500 schools and (with the exception of the United States) are included in the TALIS averages reported here. Alongside a small number of other countries, New Zealand participated in TALIS in November 2014. 

In New Zealand these teachers come from a wide range of school types: full primary schools, intermediate schools, secondary schools, composite schools and others. The TALIS population of Year 7-10 teachers covers an estimated 22,170 teachers, approximately 50% of all teachers in 2013. These teachers were teaching in 773 schools, which is 30% of all state, state integrated, and private schools in New Zealand. 

We collected responses from 163 schools and 2,862 teachers. New Zealand schools with at least four teachers teaching Year 7, 8, 9 or 10 students were randomly selected to participate in TALIS. Whilst participation in TALIS is voluntary, we had an excellent response rate from selected teachers of 90%. On average, the New Zealand schools captured by the TALIS survey have 593 students and 41 teachers.

Research Design

TALIS is a representative sample survey focused on teachers and school leaders in Years 7 to 10. These year levels fit with the UNESCO international standard definition of "lower secondary", used by the OECD. In New Zealand, we estimate about 50% of our teachers teach students in these years. 

The questionnaires covered a range of topics, including:

  • school leadership, including distributed or team leadership.
  • teacher training, including professional development and initial teacher education.
  • appraisal of and feedback to teachers.
  • teachers' pedagogical beliefs, attitudes and teaching practices, including student-assessment practices.
  • teachers' reported feelings of self-efficacy, job satisfaction and the climate in the schools and classrooms in which they work. 

We selected a structured random sample of teachers, ensuring for instance that all institution types were captured. To ensure we ran the survey efficiently, we excluded a small number of teachers who taught in schools with 3 or fewer teachers of Years 7-10. Despite these school-level exclusions, just over 95% of Year 7-10 teachers had a chance of being in the survey. The schools that were excluded are almost all smaller full primary schools, and they are more likely to be located outside urban centres. 

As TALIS is a cross-sectional survey it is possible to identify relationships between various factors but it is not possible to determine the direction of causation.

References

  • OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing.
  • TALIS 2013 Technical Report OECD 2014

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