Early childhood and schools

Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers - Update February 2003


We are pleased to inform you of some recent developments with the OECD Teacher Policy Activity, and to alert you to upcoming events.

This news update is being sent to all the people on the mailing list for the Activity (including national co-ordinators, authors of country background reports, review team members and colleagues from other international organisations) and the members of the INES Taskforce on Teaching and Learning.

We are sorry that this update is available in English only.

There are 24 countries participating in the Activity, comprising 22 OECD Member countries and two non-Member countries (Chile and Israel). The participation in the two strands is as follows:

Australia; Austria; Belgium (Flemish and French communities); Canada (Ontario and Quebec); Chile; Denmark; Finland; France; Germany; Greece; Hungary; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Korea; Mexico; the Netherlands; Norway; the Slovak Republic; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; the United Kingdom.

Austria; Belgium (Flemish and French communities); Germany; Hungary; Italy; Korea; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland.

The Country Background Report (CBR) for Switzerland has been released. The report was prepared by Karin Müller Kucera (SRED - Unit for Educational Research, Department of Education, Geneva) and Martin Stauffer (CDIP/EDK - Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education, Berne) on behalf of the National Advisory Committee. English, French and German versions of the report are available on the OECD Activity Website. Copies are also available on the Home Page of the Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education

The Swiss report is the second CBR to be added to the OECD Home Page. The first was the report for Belgium (Flemish community) prepared last year by Geert Devos and Karlien VanDerheyden (University of Ghent).

We have been very pleased to comment on drafts of other CBRs in recent weeks. We expect that several more CBRs will be finalised and released shortly.

Twenty countries have now submitted the data request form. As anticipated, countries vary widely in the data they were able to supply, and no single country was able to supply a full set of data for all 13 tables. Nevertheless, the data supplied will help greatly with the activity, and provide an important input to future data development efforts. The remaining countries are encouraged to submit the data request form as soon as possible. We will provide an initial overview of the data shortly.

The first thematic country review visit was to Belgium (Flemish community) on 3-12 November 2002. The review team was Phillip McKenzie (OECD), Hilary Emery (Department of Education and Skills, United Kingdom), Paulo Santiago (OECD) and Anne Sliwka (University of Erfurt, Germany). The Country Note from the review visit is presently being drafted.

The schedule for the remaining country visits in the Thematic Country Review strand is now confirmed, as are the members of most review teams.

Paulo Santiago (OECD), Alan Wagner (State University of New York, Albany, USA, rapporteur), Christian Thieme (KMK, Germany), Danielle Zay (University of Lille 3, France)

Paulo Santiago (OECD), John Coolahan (National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland, rapporteur), Akira Ninomiya (University of Hiroshima, Japan), Rowena Phair (Ministry of Education, New Zealand).

Phillip McKenzie (OECD), Françoise Delannoy (formerly The World Bank, France, rapporteur), Ben Van Der Ree (formerly the Ministry of Education, the Netherlands), Stefan Wolter (Swiss Coordination Centre for Research in Education, Switzerland)

Paulo Santiago (OECD); other reviewers to be confirmed.

Yael Duthilleul (OECD and The World Bank), Ulf Lundgren (University of Uppsala, Sweden, rapporteur), Ian Murphy (Department of Education, Ireland), Maria Jesus Sansegundo (Carlos III University, Madrid, Spain)

Phillip McKenzie (OECD), Geert Devos (University of Ghent, Belgium, rapporteur), Lawrence Ingvarson (Australian Council for Educational Research, Australia), Liv Vagslid (Ministry for Education, Norway)

Phillip McKenzie (OECD); other reviewers to be confirmed

Yael Duthilleul (OECD and The World Bank), Françoise Cros (University of Paris V, France, rapporteur), Christian Cox (Ministry of Education, Chile), Kari Kantasalmi (University of Helsinki, Finland)

Paulo Santiago (OECD); other reviewers to be confirmed

Very helpful pre-visits were held by various OECD Secretariat members to Switzerland (12-13 December), Korea (29-30 January), Austria (3-4 February), Sweden (10-11 February), Italy (20-21 February) and Belgium (French community) (20-21 February). Other pre-visits will be made shortly to Germany (27-28 February), Spain (10-11 March) and Hungary (3-4 April).

The third workshop for the Teacher Policy Activity will be held in Athens on Wednesday 4 June and Thursday 5 June. It will be hosted by Greece, and we greatly appreciate their support. Further details and registration forms will be provided closer to the workshop.
The workshop will be preceded by the Conference Quality of Education - Teachers' Professional Training and Development: The European Union and the SE European Countries". This conference, which forms part of Greece's Presidency of the European Union, will be held in Athens on Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 June. Participants in the OECD Activity will also be welcome to attend this conference if they wish. It is likely that on Tuesday 3 June there will be a workshop based on the OECD Teachers Activity as part of the larger conference. Further details on the 2-3 June Conference will be sent to all those on the mailing list for the OECD Teachers Activity as soon as they are available.

Two expert papers to support the activity have been commissioned so far: The economic cycle and teacher supply (Peter Dolton et al, University of Newcastle, UK); and Leadership in schools (Bill Mulford, University of Tasmania, Australia). Work on both papers is well advanced and we expect to release them soon.

The first in a series of annual Forums on "Schooling for Tomorrow" was held on 12-14 February at Futuroscope in Poitiers, France. It was organised by the OECD's Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI), and included discussions of a "toolbox" to help analyse prospective school system change, and potential indicators of different scenarios in school systems. By clarifying different possible futures for schooling the Schooling for Tomorrow activity is helping to deepen understanding of the trends and policies being documented in the teacher policy work. In turn, the Teacher Policy Activity is providing inputs into Schooling for Tomorrow's reflections about the nature of the teaching force, its professional development, and the organisation of teachers' work. The Forum was attended by national experts from 24 countries, the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, representatives from two of the CERI decentralised network bodies, and local school leaders. The agenda for the Forum is available on the OECD Home Page, and key papers will shortly be placed on the site.

In 2001 the OECD's Indicators of National Education Systems (INES) project established a Taskforce to develop a strategy for internationally comparable data on teaching and learning. The Taskforce is a joint activity of INES Network A (Educational outcomes) and Network C (School features and processes). The OECD Teachers Activity is collaborating with the Taskforce in its developmental work. Please find attached the latest version of the conceptual framework developed by the Taskforce on how system, school, classroom and individual-level factors influence teaching and learning.

Don't forget to regularly look at the Web site for the Activity to catch up on the latest news and to download recent reports.

As well as Swiss Country Background Report noted above, other recent additions to the Home Page are two background documents prepared to help inform the Activity. These have been released as the first two titles in the OECD Education Working Paper series:

We are updating the Home Page to include all the links we have been sent us on country sites relating to teacher policy. We would welcome further information about Web Pages that can be included in the "Useful Links" section. Please send the details to Paulo Santiago and Sabrina Leonarduzzi.

We are very aware of the substantial efforts underway in all participating countries by the National Co-ordinators, Data Co-ordinators, members of National Advisory Committees, authors of CBRs and their colleagues. We greatly appreciate your assistance in this major international project.

With best wishes

Abrar Hasan
Phillip McKenzie
Paulo Santiago
Yael Duthilleul
Sabrina Leonarduzzi


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