OECD: teacher well-being is key for teaching and learning

published 4 March 2020 updated 6 March 2020

The most recent edition of Teaching in Focus of the OECD targets stress and burnout among teachers; factors that endanger the health of practitioners and damage the quality of education. In addition, these are important reasons that the recruitment and retention of teachers has become so difficult.

The publication reports on the upcoming Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) from 2018. It explains the “conceptual framework” for their work on teachers’ occupational well-being.

“The framework defines teachers’ occupational well-being based on four key dimensions: cognitive well-being (ability to keep new information and concentrate on their work), subjective well-being (particular feelings or emotional states, satisfaction and purpose with their work), physical and mental well-being (psychosomatic symptoms and complaints), social well-being (quality and depth of working relationships with stakeholders),” the publication reads.

The  Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2018 survey of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), released in December of 2019, already reported, a link between student well-being and teacher well-being, and the next PISA survey for 2021 will include a question on teacher well-being. Although the surveys are separate, PISA and TALIS data are complementary.There is still far too little research in this area. However, the TALIS work charts a direction for future action. While the full results will be released soon, the newsletter indicates that it “provides a pathway to explore the association between the quality of working environments and teachers’ levels of occupational well-being. It also covers the association of teachers’ occupational well-being with the quality of learning environments (measured by classroom quality processes and association with students’ well-being) and teachers’ stress levels and motivation to continue teaching.”

EI General Secretary David Edwards has said that “EI has long been convinced that teacher well-being is not only crucial for teachers and their health, but also for ensuring that schools are less stressful for students, that education is a good and joyful experience and that teachers, who are committed to their profession, want to continue to contribute and that new talent will seek to join our ranks.”

The 30th edition of Teaching in Focus by the OECD can be accessed here.