Center on International Education Benchmarking

Not So Elementary: Primary School Teacher Quality

in High-Performing Systems

BeyondPDCover

Press Release | Policy Brief | Full Report

From leading Australian researcher Ben Jensen, the new report Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Learning in High-Performing Systems analyzes the way four high-performing systems provide professional learning to their teachers. Shanghai, British Columbia, Singapore, and Hong Kong all score near the top of all jurisdictions tested in mathematics, reading and science on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).

While these systems are quite different, the key to all of them is that collaborative professional learning (teachers working with other teachers to improve curriculum, instruction, school climate, etc.) is built into the daily lives of teachers and school leaders. This is reinforced by policies and school organizations that:

  • Free up time in the daily lives of teachers for collaborative professional learning
  • Create leadership roles for expert teachers who both develop other teachers and lead school improvement teams
  • Recognize and reward the development of teacher expertise
  • Enable teachers and school leaders to share responsibility for their own professional learning and that of their peers.

This report is one of a series of reports from CIEB on teacher quality systems in top-performing countries. The series also includes Beyond PD: Teacher Professional Development in High-Performing Systems, Developing Shanghai’s Teachers and a forthcoming series of reports from Linda Darling-Hammond of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE).

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