Insights for Teachers: A profile of teachers who teach Year 7-10 students and their principals

Publication Details

In this 'Insights for Teachers' we report on the first New Zealand findings from the OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (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.

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

Date Published: July 2015

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Summary

This brief presents the first analysis of the New Zealand TALIS data and concentrates on teacher and principal demographics. We are continuing our analysis of TALIS data, and will publish further information on topics such as teacher beliefs and practices and the role of school leaders.

34 countries and economies participated in TALIS 2013 and 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 TALIS 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.

97% of New Zealand Teachers in TALIS recently participated in professional development compared to the TALIS average of 88%.

Our Year 7-10 teachers

Like many other countries our Year 7- 10 teaching workforce has more females than males; this is not unusual throughout the world. We have a larger proportion of male teachers than countries like Singapore and Finland (Figure 1).

New Zealand teachers are well qualified and trained. Almost all New Zealand teachers in the TALIS survey have completed a specific teacher education programme, compared with 90% on average across TALIS participating countries. Singapore and Australia also have very high rates of completion of teacher education programmes.

The level of teacher participation in at least one professional development activity in the 12 months prior to the survey is also extremely high in New Zealand (97%), Australia (97%) and Singapore (98%), with the TALIS average at 88%.

New Zealand has a higher proportion of our teaching workforce employed full-time than the TALIS average. However, countries such as Singapore and Finland have very high proportions of full-time teachers.

New Zealand teachers of Year 7-10 students look quite similar to the TALIS averages for most of these measures (Figure 2), although they spend an extra 6 hours per week working. On average New Zealand teachers work 1 hour more than Australian teachers, while teachers in Singapore work 4 hours more per week than New Zealand teachers.

While the average age of our TALIS teachers is 45, figure 3 shows their age groups in more detail. On average, our teaching workforce has a slightly higher proportion of teachers aged 60 or more.

Figure 1: Who are our Year 7-10 teachers?
New Zealand
  • 62% are women
  • 92% completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 99% completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 88% are employed full time and 86% have a permanent contract
  • 97% report that they had participated in at least one professional development activity during the 12 months prior to the survey
TALIS average
  • 68% are women
  • 91%* completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 90% completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 82% are employed full time and 83% have a permanent contract
  • 88% report that they had participated in at least one professional development activity during the 12 months prior to the survey
Australia
  • 59%* are women
  • 100% completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 98% completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 84% are employed full time and 87%* have a permanent contract
  • 97%* report that they had participated in at least one professional development activity during the 12 months prior to the survey
Singapore
  • 65% are women
  • 93%* completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 99%* completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 96% are employed full time and 90% have a permanent contract
  • 98% report that they had participated in at least one professional development activity during the 12 months prior to the survey
Finland
  • 72% are women
  • 96% completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 92% completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 94% are employed full time and 77% have a permanent contract
  • 79% report that they had participated in at least one professional development activity during the 12 months prior to the survey

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand estimate.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.
A note about hours

The figure presented here is the average used for international comparisons, and includes all teachers surveyed. Teachers were asked "During your most recent complete calendar week, approximately how many 60-minute hours did you spend in total on teaching, planning lessons, marking, collaborating with other teachers, participating in staff meetings and on other tasks related to your job at this school?" They were asked to include tasks that took place during weekends, evenings and other off-classroom hours.

There are some limitations with this measure. In particular, the average includes both full and part-time teachers. It also includes hours for teachers with little or no management responsibility through to those whose time is mostly spent on management. There is a wide variation in the total hours worked reported by teachers. A similar question was not included for principals.

We are currently doing further analysis to better understand the variation in total hours worked, teaching hours and the factors contributing to this variation.

Figure 2: This Year 7-10 teacher, on average...
New Zealand
  • Is 45 years old
  • Has 16 years of teaching experience
  • Teaches in a class with 25 students
  • Spends an average of 44 hours per week working
TALIS average
  • Is 43 years old
  • Has 16* years of teaching experience
  • Teaches in a class with 24 students
  • Spends an average of 38 hours per week working
Australia
  • Is 43 years old
  • Has 17* years of teaching experience
  • Teaches in a class with 25* students
  • Spends an average of 43 hours per week working
Singapore
  • Is 36 years old
  • Has 10 years of teaching experience
  • Teaches in a class with 36 students
  • Spends an average of 48 hours per week working
Finland
  • Is 44* years old
  • Has 15* years of teaching experience
  • Teaches in a class with 18 students
  • Spends an average of 32 hours per week working

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand estimate.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.
Figure 3: Age distribution of Year 7-10 teachers

Notes:

  1. Countries are ranked in descending order, based on the percentage of teachers aged 49 or younger.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An international perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing, New Zealand TALIS database.

Our Year 7-10 principals

The proportion of male principals in TALIS schools is much higher in New Zealand: 68% in New Zealand compared with the international average of 51% (and 48% in Singapore).

New Zealand principals surveyed in TALIS are slightly older than the TALIS average (55 compared with 52, see Figure 5), although a similar age to Australian principals and 7 years older than principals in Singapore. New Zealand principals have more teaching experience (except compared with Australia) and more experience as a principal, on average, than most other TALIS countries.

A higher proportion of principals of TALIS schools are employed without teaching obligations than the TALIS average. While 80% of these principals have completed training in instructional leadership, a lower proportion (75%) have completed an administration or principal training programme compared with the average across all TALIS countries (85%) and 93% in Singapore.

New Zealand Year 7-10 principals have 12 years experience as principals compared to the TALIS average of 9 years experience.
Figure 4: Who are our Year 7-10 principals?
New Zealand
  • 68% are men.
  • 91% completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 96% completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 75% completed a school administration/principal training programme
  • 80% completed instructional leadership training
  • 78% are employed full time without teaching obligations
  • 22% are employed full time with teaching obligations
TALIS average
  • 51% are men
  • 96%* completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 90% completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 85% completed a school administration/principal training programme
  • 78%* completed instructional leadership training
  • 62% are employed full time without teaching obligations
  • 35% are employed full time with teaching obligations
Australia
  • 61%* are men.
  • 100%* completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 96%* completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 64%* completed a school administration/principal training programme
  • 69%* completed instructional leadership training
  • 79%* are employed full time without teaching obligations
  • 21%* are employed full time with teaching obligations
Singapore
  • 48% are men.
  • 100%* completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 97%* completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 93% completed a school administration/principal training programme
  • 91% completed instructional leadership training
  • 99% are employed full time without teaching obligations
  • 1% are employed full time with teaching obligations
Finland
  • 59%* are men.
  • 100%* completed university or other equivalent higher education
  • 98%* completed a teacher education or training programme
  • 97% completed a school administration/principal training programme
  • 72%* completed instructional leadership training
  • 25% are employed full time without teaching obligations
  • 71% are employed full time with teaching obligations

Notes:

  1. *Not statistically significantly different from the New Zealand estimate.
  2. Sources: OECD (2014), TALIS 2013 Results: An International Perspective on Teaching and Learning, OECD Publishing. New Zealand TALIS database.
A note about the TALIS sample

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.

Figure 5: This Year 7-10 principal, on average...
New Zealand
  • Is 55 years old
  • Has 12 years of experience as a principal and
  • 26 years of teaching experience
TALIS average
  • Is 52 years old
  • Has 9 years of experience as a principal and
  • 21 years of teaching experience
Australia
  • Is 53* years old
  • Has 8 years of experience as a principal and
  • 27* years of teaching experience
Singapore
  • Is 48 years old
  • Has 8 years of experience as a principal and
  • 15 years of teaching experience
Finland
  • Is 51 years old
  • Has 11* years of experience as a principal and
  • 17 years of teaching experience

Notes:

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

Research Design

TALIS focuses on teachers and school leaders in Years 7 to 10.  These Years 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.  We selected a representative sample of teachers, ensuring for instance that all institution types were captured.

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.

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.

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