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TALIS Toolkit: Helping Educators Improve Teaching and Learning in Their Schools




This toolkit, developed by the Alliance for Excellent Education, draws on the evidence base of TALIS and offers insights and advice to educators at the school, district, and state levels on how they can improve teaching and learning in their schools. We hope that the wealth of this collection of materials will help to inform the teaching workforce about the TALIS survey, and provide guidance for building excellence into teaching.

–Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Dear Educator:

The quality of schooling cannot exceed the quality of teachers, but the quality of teachers cannot exceed the quality of teacher

education and of the support given to them. Effective teaching and teachers, as well as strong school leadership, are key to producing high performing students.

The Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), given every five years by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is a large-scale international survey that focuses on the working conditions of teachers and the learning environment in schools. TALIS examines the ways in which teachers’ work is recognised, appraised, and rewarded and assesses teachers’ participation in professional development activities. The study provides insights into teachers’ beliefs about and attitudes towards teaching, the pedagogical practices that they adopt, and the factors related to teachers’ sense of self-efficacy and job satisfaction. TALIS also examines the roles of school leaders and the support they give their teachers.

This toolkit, developed by the Alliance for Excellent Education, draws on the evidence base of TALIS and offers insights and advice to educators at the school, district, and state levels on how they can improve teaching and learning in their schools. We hope that the wealth of this collection of materials will help to inform the teaching workforce about the TALIS survey, and provide guidance for building excellence into teaching.

–Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Click on a subject area below to find TALIS-related reports, tools, and publications that are related to teachers, teaching, and school leadership.



Leadership in Teaching
ESSA flexibility allows states and districts to create systems that provide teachers with leadership opportunities. AFT recommends building a new system that includes professional capacity and accountability.  Teacher leadership is defined, and examples are given.  The paper documents that leadership is spread among teams and helps school development contributing to increased effectiveness.

Union Role in Teacher Leadership
AFT document acknowledges and promotes continued support for teacher leaders. Highlights that ESSA includes provisions for states and local school districts to develop school leadership opportunities for teachers.

Moving Beyond Compliance
Lessons Learned from Teacher Development and Evaluation A teacher development and evaluation system provides a framework for learning in which a truly collaborative professional community can be built.

Press Release: Global survey can help shape the profession, Weingarten says

International Update: The AFT at Work in the World (Special Report 2012 – 2014)
Document highlights AFT’s longtime commitment to international human and labor rights, democratic freedoms, humanitarian relief and equal opportunity for all. It also highlights best practices in global education, including the TALIS.




Smart, Skilled, and Striving: Transforming and Elevating the Teaching Profession
Policy agenda outlining strategy to achieve changes to every stage of the teacher continuum and modernization of the system as a whole. Transformation beginning with recruitment and selection into teacher preparation programs and continues on to new teacher training and support, professional development, compensation, opportunities for career advancement.




The Teacher and Learning International Survey (TALIS), given by the OECD every five years, offers an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to have their say in six areas:

The TALIS 2013 findings are representative of over five million teachers in 34 countries and economies surveyed in 2013. The OECD is now working on TALIS 2018. The themes covered by TALIS 2018 are likely to be similar to those explored in TALIS 2013 but the number of countries and economies participating will be around 45.

TALIS 2013 Results

School Leadership for Learning: Insights from TALIS 2013
Using the TALIS database, this report looks at different approaches to school leadership and the impact of school leadership on professional learning communities and on the learning climate in individual schools.

A Teachers’ Guide to TALIS 2013: Teaching and Learning International Survey
This publication not only presents the main results of TALIS 2013, but it also takes those findings and, backed by the research literature on education and the large body of OECD work on education, offers insights and advice to teachers and school leaders on how they can improve teaching and learning in their schools.

Overview of school leadership and TALIS
From the OECD’s Education GPS.

Leaders for learning
By Montserrat Gomendio,Deputy Director, Directorate for Education and Skills.

Developing an agenda for research and education in Wales
By Hannah von Ahlefeld, Project Lead, TALIS Initial Teacher Preparation study, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills.

How can professional development enhance teachers’ classroom practices?
Teacher professional development is deemed to be high quality when it includes opportunities for active learning methods, an extended time period, a group of colleagues, and collective learning activities or research with other teachers.

Join our OECD Teacher Community on Edmodo
Join the OECD Teacher Community on Edmodo, with resources for teachers the world over and a team of experts ready to answer questions on teaching best practices.

Preparing teachers for change – in and outside of the profession
By Andreas Schleicher, Director, OECD Directorate for Education and Skills.

Teaching Strategies for Instructional Quality: Insights from the TALIS-PISA Link Data

Supporting good teaching practices: What the link between PISA and TALIS data tells us
In TALIS 2013, participating countries and economies had the option of applying TALIS questionnaires to a PISA 2012 subsample with the purpose of linking data on schools, teachers, and students: the TALIS-PISA Link database. This database provides valuable information about teaching strategies and their relationship with the characteristics of the school, the classroom, and student outcomes. A better understanding of these relationships can help teachers, schools, and education policy makers design more effective policies with the aim of improving the achievement of all students.



The Teacher Leadership Competencies
This model brings together three intertwined pathways that define the ways teachers can blasé new paths in education. The document was designed to fulfill a charge a vision for teacher leadership and express that vision in a set of competencies.

Moving all Teachers Toward an Accomplished Teaching Workforce: A Toolkit for School and System Leaders
The Toolkit for School and System Leaders aim to help school leaders learn from the work of National Board Certified Teacher leaders from across the country who are successfully working to improve schools and student achievement by driving accomplished teaching practice leading to Board certification.  It provides ready-made resources that advocates can use to bring decision-makers and stakeholders on board and engage a team of people to design and lead the program.




Today’s Board Certification for Teachers: Answers to Legislators’ Questions
Information about National Board Certification prepared for legislators to use as a tool/document to help states improve student achievement and educator effectiveness.




Beyond PISA: How the United States Compares With High-Achieving Nations on Key Educational Issues
“This review of the research goes beyond the international ‘test factor’ to compare specific aspects of education that are shaped by the norms and values of societies and, to a large extent, form the core of education systems. It is through such comparisons that a clearer picture will emerge on how particular countries with long-standing dominance on intellectual assessments differ from the US and other nations” (p.1)

Survey U.S. Accountability System Less Fair and Effective Compared to Other Countries




Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning (TELL) Survey

 NTC’s TELL survey has many similar components to the TALIS survey and magnifies the policies that support school leaders and teachers, especially on topics highlighted throughout the TALIS work such as school leadership, professional development, time to collaborate with colleagues, and teacher preparation.

 Listed below are some of the most recent statewide Analyses and Reports showing the connection between teaching conditions and student achievement, and teacher retention.

TELL Kentucky 2016 Student Achievement and Teacher Retention Analyses 

TELL Oregon 2016 Brief (link) and TELL Oregon 2014 Student Achievement and Teacher Retention Brief 

 2014 Cross-State Analysis of TELL Findings
States included in this analysis include Colorado, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont.

Teaching, Empowering, Leading, and Learning (TELL) Survey Summary of Statewide Results, 2011–2016 (pdf)

North Carolina Student Achievement and Teacher Retention Analysis, 2014 Teacher Working Conditions Survey


NTC has also published various reports that are similar in focus to some of the policies addressed through the TALIS survey

 Support from the Start: A 50-State Review of New Teacher Induction and Mentoring, 2016

 High-Quality Induction and Mentoring Practices, 2016

 The Big Picture: Comprehensive Systems of Teacher Induction, 2016




Turning Schools Around: The National Board Certification Process as a School Improvement Strategy
“The purpose of this project was to examine the National Board Certification process as a potential strategy for supporting the improvement of schools where large proportions of students score below grade level on standardized tests” (p.1)



TeachStrong Policy Proposals 7, 8 and 9: Reports on TeachStrong Principle 7: Time, Tools, and Support; Principle 8: Professional Learning; and Principle 9: Career Pathways

Principle 7
Time, Tools, and Support: Provide significantly more time, tools, and support for teachers to succeed, including through planning, collaboration, and development.

Principle 8
Professional Learning: Design Professional Learning to Better Address Student and Teacher Needs, and Foster Feedback and Improvement.

Principle 9
Career Pathways: Create career pathways that give teachers opportunities to lead and grow professionally.


The Alliance wishes to thank the Kern Family Foundation, whose generosity made this toolkit a reality, as well as the partner organizations listed above for their assistance in assembling this toolkit.