Background and Basics | Who is Who in TALIS
The Survey and Questionnaires | Further Questions
Background and Basics
What does the term "TALIS" mean?
TALIS is an acronym for "Teaching and Learning International Survey ".
What is the history of TALIS?
TALIS was developed as part of the OECD’s Indicators of Education Systems (INES) Project, which, over the past 20 years has developed a coherent set of indicators that provide a reliable basis for the quantitative comparison of the functioning and performance of education systems in OECD and partner countries. Providing information on teachers, teaching and learning is an essential component of the INES programme, At the INES General Assembly in 2000 in Tokyo, countries called for increased attention to teachers and teaching in future work. The importance of teachers, including the need for better information on the quality of learning and how teaching influences learning was affirmed at the meeting of education sub-Ministers in Dublin in 2003. To address the gaps in the knowledge base on teachers and teaching, a data strategy was developed that proposed steps towards improving the indicators on teachers, teaching and learning. The strategy that was developed identified strands of work, one of which was an international survey on teachers, which evolved into the TALIS programme.
At the same time, the OECD review of teacher policy, which concluded with the report Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers (OECD, 2005), identified a need to develop better national and international information on teachers. The policy framework used in the policy review as well as the specific data gaps and priorities that it highlights were instrumental in the design of TALIS.
What makes TALIS unique?
TALIS is the first international survey programme to focus on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers in schools. It fills important information gaps in the international comparisons of education systems.
Which countries/economies participate in TALIS?
OECD member countries and non-member economies can participate in TALIS. 24 countries took part in TALIS 2008 (the first cycle of TALIS): Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Republic of Korea, Lithuania, Malta, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovak Republic, Slovenia and Turkey. About 30 countries or regions will take part in TALIS 2013 (the second cycle). The following OECD countries or regions have already joined TALIS 2013: Australia, Belgium (Flanders), Canada (Alberta), Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom (England) and United States. In addition, the following non-member economies will take part in the survey: Abu Dhabi, Chile, Croatia, Latvia and Serbia.
How are countries/economies chosen to participate in TALIS?
Countries/economies/subnational entities interested in participating in TALIS should contact the OECD Secretariat. Participants must have the technical expertise necessary to administer an international assessment and must be able to meet the costs of participation.
Who pays for TALIS?
TALIS is financed through government authorities of countries/economies that participate in TALIS, typically education ministries.
Who is Who in TALIS
Who are the institutions and teams behind TALIS?
Education authorities in the participating countries and economies. TALIS would not be possible without the support and guidance of the education ministries in the participating countries.
The OECD Secretariat
The OECD Secretariat is responsible for the day-to-day management of TALIS. This means that the TALIS team monitors the survey’s implementation, manages administrative matters for the TALIS Board of Participating Countries, builds consensus among countries and serves as a go-between for the TALIS BPC and the International Consortium. Click here to see the OECD Secretariat contact list for TALIS.
The TALIS Board of Participating Countries
Each country participating in TALIS has a representative on the TALIS Board of Participating Countries The chair of the TALIS BPC is chosen by the Board itself.
Guided by the OECD’s education objectives, the Board determines the policy priorities for TALIS and makes sure that these are respected during the implementation of TALIS.
The International Contractors (the "TALIS Consortium")
For each TALIS cycle, International Contractor(s) are responsible for the design and implementation of the surveys. The contractors are chosen by the TALIS Board of Participating Countries through an international call for tender. The contractors are typically referred to as the TALIS Consortium.
The TALIS National Project Managers
Working with the OECD Secretariat, the TALIS Board of Participating Countries and the international contractor, the TALIS National Project Managers oversee the implementation of TALIS in each participating country/economy. The TALIS National Project Managers are appointed by their governments.
The TALIS Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
Experts in the Technical Advisory Group support the survey development and implementation.
The TALIS Instrument Development Expert Group (IDEG)
The Instrument Development Expert Group provides leadership and guidance in the construction of the TALIS questionnaires. The members of the IDEG are selected by the TALIS Board of Participating Countries.
The Survey and Questionnaires
Who takes the TALIS survey?
The first cycle of TALIS – TALIS 2008 – surveyed teachers of lower secondary education and the principals of the schools in which they work. TALIS 2013 (the second cycle) will also survey teachers of lower secondary education and the principals. In addition, countries have an option to expand the survey to elementary, upper secondary schools, and to schools that participate in PISA 2012.
Within participating countries, schools as well as teachers within schools, are randomly selected to take part in TALIS. For each country – except for smaller countries – some 200 schools and 20 teachers within each of these schools are sampled.
How is the TALIS survey conducted?
Each questionnaire takes about 45 minutes to complete. The TALIS survey can be completed on line and with pencil and paper.
The survey responses are entirely confidential and at no time are the names of individual teachers, principals or schools identified.
Who creates the test questions?
Separate questionnaires for teachers and principals are developed by international experts in the TALIS Instrument Development Group. Questionnaires are discussed throughout their development with the participating countries, teacher representative bodies, in particular the Trades Union Advisory Council (TUAC) at the OECD.
The questions are reviewed by the international contractors and by participants and are carefully checked for cultural bias. Further, before the real survey there is a pilot in some participants and a full field trial run in all participants. If questions prove to have been to difficult to interpret in certain countries/economies, they are dropped from the real survey in all countries and economies.
Are the TALIS questionnaires available to the general public?
The TALIS 2008 questionnaires are available in TALIS 2008 Technical Report (OECD, 2009). Click here for the report. The TALIS 2013 questionnaires are under development and will be released with the TALIS 2013 Technical Report.
Are the data from the TALIS surveys publicly available?
Yes. Click here for the TALIS 2008 databases.
Are the results of every participant's performance in TALIS published?
Generally, yes – the TALIS reports published after each cycle include data from all participants as long as the data and the amount of teachers (the sample size) meet certain standards. If the standards are not attained, depending on the reason, the data are either not published at all or published but set apart from data of other countries with an explanatory note.
For example, in TALIS 2008, the response rate for the Netherlands fell short of the minimum requirement of 75% and did not warrant inclusion in the TALIS 2008 database. Therefore, the Netherlands is excluded from trend analysis relating to TALIS 2008.
How can I learn more about TALIS?
- Click here to access TALIS publications and databases
- Click here to visit the OECD’s Directorate for Education.
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Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS 2008) data