Innovative Teaching for Effective Learning (ITEL) - Teacher Knowledge Survey


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The Teacher Knowledge Survey investigates how to improve student learning outcomes by exploring teachers’ knowledge of effective teaching and learning. It aims to help OECD countries to improve teacher quality and seeks to answer three main questions:

  1. How can we improve pedagogy for more successful learning?
  2. How can we improve teacher education for more successful teaching?
  3. How can we improve the selection, retention and professional development of teachers?
To answer the above questions, the study looks at:

Science of Learning

The Teacher Knowledge Survey is informed by recent advances in the various fields that study learning, such as education, cognitive science, and educational neuroscience. See our Reports page for a selection of publications synthesising this emerging research with the aim of contributing to the policy dialogue by integrating the scientific research on learning and teaching practice.  

  • teachers’ knowledge of teaching and learning and how teachers learn to  adapt their practice to new educational demands;
  • the quality of learning opportunities provided in teacher education and how these relate to student teachers’ learning outcomes;
  • teachers’ motivation and how it relates to professional competence.

The Teacher Knowledge Survey is being piloted for validation in 2016-2017. A final report describing the pilot study and research findings will be available in 2017. 

Conceptual Framework of the Teacher Knowledge Survey 

The conceptual framework underpinning the study is positioned within a larger framework of teachers’ overall professional competence, as illustrated in the diagram below.

The conceptual framework is based on a review of literature by Sonia Guerriero. Teacher education provides opportunities to develop teachers’ professional competence, which consists of pedagogical knowledge and affective-motivational competencies and beliefs. These affect teaching approaches, which in turn affect the cognitive and socio-emotional learning of students.

To learn more about the project’s research objectives and survey instruments, see the Background page.

To be added to our mailing list, please email the project leader.

New Publications 

Pedagogical Knowledge and the Changing Nature of the Teaching Profession (forthcoming, 21 February 2017)

This publication is based on an OECD/CERI Symposium held in June 2014 in collaboration with the Flemish Department of Education and Training. The book brings together a collection of chapters exploring conceptual and empirical work on teachers’ pedagogical knowledge, the dynamics of knowledge in the teaching profession, and how to measure pedagogical knowledge as an indicator of teacher quality. It also explores the teaching and learning of 21st century skills and the implications of the science of learning, or educational neurosciences, on teachers’ knowledge and teacher education. See the Events page for information about the webinar launch of the publication. 

The Neuroscience of Mathematical Cognition and Learning

This working paper by Chung Yen Looi, Jacqueline Thompson, Beatrix Krause and Roi Cohen Kadosh (Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford) and accompanying blog post (see the Blog section below) give an insight into the neuroscience research underpinning maths learning and cognition. The paper explores key contributors to maths learning such as neural factors, cognitive inputs and development throughout formal education, with the aim of better equipping educators and policy makers with the scientific knowledge underlying maths acquisition, as well as hindrances to learning such as maths anxiety or dyscalculia.


Understanding how the brain processes maths learning 


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