At the World Education Forum in Incheon (Republic of Korea) in May 2015, the global education community, under the leadership of UNESCO, framed the priorities for a common education agenda within the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the next 15 years. Participants in the Forum pushed for the Education SDG (SDG 4), aiming to
'Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and [to] promote life-long learning opportunities for all'.
To achieve this goal, the participants unanimously acknowledged the important roles of teachers and teaching for effective learning at all levels of education. That is why they committed to
'ensure that teachers and educators are empowered, adequately recruited,well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficient and effectively governed systems'
The provision of such a teaching force on a sustainable basis within educational systems cannot be done without context-responsive, evidence-based teacher policies and regulations that are elaborated with the full participation of all relevant stakeholders.
Drawing on lessons learnt since its establishment in Oslo (Norway) in 2008, through its policy dialogue fora and the review of prevailing trends in teacher policies and practices, the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030 has pulled together its resources to proactively develop the present Teacher Policy Development Guide. The objective is to support the realization of the teacher target in the SDGs and Education 2030 by putting at the disposal of Member States and partners a tool that will facilitate the development or the review of national teacher policies.
The abridged version of the Teacher Policy Development Guide was published in seven languages (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) in 2015. Lessons learnt from its use in some countries have called for the need to publish this revised full version, including data, case studies and other illustrations that future users will find relevant. Available in English and French as an interactive tool to be adapted to country contexts and to the needs of users, this version will be a key instrument for the implementation of the Teacher Task Force’s 2018-2021 Strategic Plan, which aims to strengthen teachers and the teaching profession through, among others, the development of holistic national teacher policies.
The Guide includes five key sections: Chapter 1 presents the purposes, rationale, scope and intended audience of the Guide; Chapter 2 explains the need for framing the teacher policy within a sector plan and national development priorities; Chapter 3 examines the most important dimensions for a teacher policy, and their correlations; Chapter 4 describes the phases in the process of developing a teacher policy; and chapter 5 outlines the steps and issues to address when implementing the national teacher policy.
We call on governments intending to use the Guide to develop a national teacher policy to take participatory and inclusive approaches, especially to involve teachers and their representative organisations in the process.
We express our appreciations and thanks to the authors and all those who have contributed to the production of this valuable tool.
This Guide has been a team effort, with valuable contributions and inputs provided by a number of experts on teacher policies. It was written by Simone Doctors (Education Consultant), William Ratteree (former staff of the International Labour Organization – ILO) and Yusuf Sayed (Reader in International Education, University of Sussex and the South African Research Chair in Teacher Education, and Director of the Centre for International Teacher Education, Cape Peninsula University of Technology). The Guide was written under the supervision of Edem Adubra, head of the Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers for Education 2030, and the coordination of Hiromichi Katayama.
The production of this Guide was supported by the Steering Committee of the Teacher Task Force. Its funding was generously provided by the European Commission and the Government of Norway. Its translation into Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish was made possible with funding from the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Award for Distinguished Academic Performance and technical assistance from Humana People to People.
The concept of the Guide was framed by the following UNESCO staff and consultants at the workshop held in May 2014 at the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris: Jean Adote-Bah Adotevi, Endris Adem Awol, Aminatou Diagne, Gabriele Goettelmann, Maki Katsuno-Hayashikawa, Mathieu Lacasse, Hilaire Mputu, Arnaldo Nhavoto, Yayoi Segi-Vltchek, Florence Ssereo and Barbara Tournier.
In addition to the above-mentioned individuals, comments on the initial draft of the Guide were received from Julie Bélanger (Organisation for Economic Cooperation – OECD), Kamel Braham (the World Bank), Dakmara Georgescu (UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in the Arab States), Mark Ginsburg (FHI 360), Diana Hincapié (Inter-American Development Bank), Vaibhav Jadhav (Savitribai Phule Pune University, India), Liu Jing (UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education, China), Olivier Labé (UNESCO Institute for Statistics), Oliver Liang (ILO), Takeshi Miyazaki (Japan International Cooperation Agency), Aidan Mulkeen (National University of Ireland Maynooth), Paz Portales (UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean), Robert Prouty (former World Bank staff ), Mohamed Ragheb (focal point for the Teacher Task Force in Egypt), Emily Richardson (Teachers College, Columbia University), Bonaventure Segueda (Ministry of National Education, Burkina Faso), Sheldon Shaeffer (former UNESCO staff ), Marcelo Souto Simão (UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning in Buenos Aires), Purna Kumar Shrestha (Voluntary Service Overseas International), Emiliana Vegas (Inter-American Development Bank) and Jesper Wohlert (Humana People to People). Our sincere thanks go to them all.
We also acknowledge feedback received from the participants in the presentation session of the initial draft of the Guide at the 17th UNESCO Asia-Pacific Programme of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) International Conference held in October 2014 in Bangkok (Thailand) and the validation workshop organised by the Teacher Task Force Secretariat on 18 December 2014 in Rabat (Morocco). Eliza Bennett edited this Guide and Yvonne Rwabukumba provided administrative support throughout its preparation.
The Teacher Task Torce Teacher Policy Development Guide was developed by the International Task Force on Teachers for EFA (Teacher Task Force) in close coordination with UNESCO entities and external partners of the Teacher Task Force. The aim was to produce a tool that could help countries develop evidence-based national teacher policy.
Created in 2008 as a global partners’ alliance to fill the teacher gap, the Teacher Task Force has advocated for, and facilitated the coordination of, international efforts to provide sufficient numbers of well-qualified teachers to achieve EFA goals. The second phase of the Task Force programme (2014–2016) more specifically attempts to boost the performance and progress of education systems in addressing the critical shortage of qualified teachers to assist in achieving and monitoring the teacher-related target of the SDGs and the Education 2030 Framework for Action.
The Teacher Task Force Steering Committee, in its November 2013 meeting in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of the Congo), required the Secretariat to initiate the development of the Guide. To launch the process, the Secretariat convened a consultation meeting with relevant UNESCO entities on 19–20 May 2014 to discuss an initial concept and an outline. Three international consultants were then hired to produce the Guide. Further substantive consultation occurred during the process of preparing the Guide, both with UNESCO entities in all regions, and with a wider range of stakeholders, including teacher policy-makers in the Asia-Pacific region, experts from international organisations, including the OECD, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, and non-governmental organisations such as Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) International and Humana People to People.
The outcome was validated at the workshop organised in Rabat (Morocco) in December 2014, with additional inputs that the authors incorporated when submitting the final Teacher Policy Development Guide. A major recommendation of this final validation meeting was to publish both an abridged version of the document for a specific public and the full text with illustrations and country case examples for those interested in learning more on the topic while using the Guide for developing a national teacher policy.
|ADEA||Association for the Development of Education in Africa|
|AITSL||Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership|
|CEART||Joint ILO/UNESCO Committee of Experts on the Application of the Recommendations concerning Teaching Personnel|
|CMEC||Council of Ministers of Education (Canada)|
|CPD||Continuing/Continual professional development|
|CPTD||Continuing professional teacher development|
|CTPDS||Continuing Teacher Professional Development System|
|DBE||Department of Basic Education (South Africa) and DHET Department of Higher Education and Training (South Africa)|
|DoE||Department of Education|
|ECE||Early Childhood Education|
|EFA||Education for All campaign/framework/goals|
|EMIS||Education Management Information Systems|
|ENHANSE||Enabling HIV and AIDS, TB and Social Sector Environment Project (Nigeria)|
|ESD||Education for Sustainable Development|
|FTI||Fast Track Initiative|
|GDP||Gross domestic product|
|GEQAF||General Education Quality Analysis Framework|
|GPE||Global Partnership for Education|
|HIV and AIDS||Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome|
|ICT||Information and communication technology|
|IIEP||UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning|
|ILO||International Labour Organisation|
|INEE||Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies|
|INSET||In-service teacher education and training|
|IPET||Initial professional education of teachers|
|ISCED||International Standard Classification of Education|
|ITT||Initial teacher training|
|MCTE||Ministerial Committee on Teacher Education (South Africa)|
|MoE||Ministry of Education|
|MP||Member of Parliament|
|MTEF||Medium-Term Expenditure Framework|
|NPFTED||National Policy Framework for Teacher Education and Development (South Africa)|
|OECD||Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development|
|OREALC/UNESCO||Oficina Regional de Educación para América Latina y el Caribe, UNESCO Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean|
|PCPD||Post-conflict and post-disaster|
|PTA||Parent teacher association|
|QTS||Qualified teacher status|
|RTE||Right to Education Act (India)|
|SABER||Systems Approach for Better Results in Education|
|SACE||South African Council for Educators|
|SACMEQ||Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality|
|SEAMEO||Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation|
|TALIS||OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey|
|TEMP||Teacher Education Master Plan (Tanzania)|
|TESSA||Teacher Education for Sub-Saharan Africa|
|TMIS||Teacher Management Information System|
|TSC||Teachers Service Commission|
|TVET||Technical and vocational education and training|
|UNESCO||United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation|
|UIS||UNESCO Institute for Statistics|
|UNICEF||United Nations Children’s Fund|
|UNRWA||United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East|
|UPE||Universal primary education|
|UK||United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland|
|USA||United States of America|
|USAID||United States Agency for International Development|
|VSO||Voluntary Service Overseas|
|WHO||World Health Organisation|
International standards, expert bodies and reviews consistently place teachers at the centre of universal access to high-quality and equitable education. Government and education experts who framed the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers (ILO/UNESCO, 1966, hereafter referred to as the 1966 Recommendation) based their work on the idea that, ‘advance in education depends largely on the qualifications and ability of the teaching staff in general and on the human, pedagogical and technical qualities of the individual teachers’ (ILO/UNESCO, 1966: 4).
Extensive research in diverse countries and education systems concludes that ‘teachers are the single biggest in-school influence on student achievement’ and that ‘teacher effectiveness is the most important school- based predictor of student learning’, often playing its most important role in overcoming the learning deficits of disadvantaged students (Asia Society, 2014: 7; OECD, 2014a: 32; World Bank, 2013: 5).
There are several good reasons therefore why teachers and teaching should be at the top of education and other policy-makers’ concerns:
To achieve maximum learning benefits, a teacher policy must have a vision for the way forward and a comprehensive (holistic) approach that encompasses a broad range of interlocking dimensions affecting how individuals choose to become and remain teachers, train for their work and perform effectively. As Chapter 2 suggests, a teacher policy that considers only some of the key factors is not very effective in reaching priority education objectives. At a minimum, a comprehensive teacher policy includes:
This Guide addresses these issues, and more. For example, what teacher policies work best to ensure quality teachers and teaching? The evidence from OECD countries supports policies that create an environment for high levels of teacher effectiveness. These, in turn, are positively associated with teacher job satisfaction, positive teacher behaviours, as well as student motivation and achievement (OECD, 2014a). Other research shows that high-performing education systems build their human resources by focusing on attracting, training and supporting good teachers, rather than on attrition or firing weak teachers (Asia Society, 2014: 8). Resource-poor, low-income countries often have to balance cost consideration issues more carefully in deciding on teacher recruitment, education and employment terms to meet access and quality demands; yet they still depend on policies to attract, retain and motivate the best individuals to teaching. The Guide summarizes such options and offers recommendations on integrating various policies so that they can work in a wide range of countries and education systems – rich or poor, large or small, largely urban or still very rural.
A holistic, national teacher policy that is adequately resourced and implemented with the necessary political will and administrative skill can be a vital first step on the road to achieving a highly motivated, professional teaching corps. Achieving this objective is arguably the best investment in learners’ education that a country can make.
The next chapter of this Guide discusses the importance of formulating a teacher policy, how it should be aligned with other policies, and some of the main principles that should underpin a policy.
This Guide is designed to assist national policy- and decision-makers and education officials to develop an informed teacher policy as an integrated component of national education sector plans or policies, aligned to national development plans and strategies.
More specifically, the Guide is a tool designed to contribute to the elaboration of an evidence-informed national teacher policy, specific to each national context and drawing on the evidence of good practices from a wide range of countries and organizations.Footnote 1
Based on the best available evidence on teacher policy and the teaching profession, the Guide aims to:
The Guide is not a diagnostic tool as such – it assumes that a careful diagnosis of the status of teachers and teaching has already been completed prior to policy development, or is to be conducted as part of the teacher policy development process. Chapter 2 (Section 2.3) provides examples of some diagnostic tools or instruments developed by international organisations.
The Guide covers:
The Guide does not cover the following categories of teachers although much of the analysis applies to these groups:
The Guide is intended to help policy- and decision-makers integrate a national teacher policy within the national education sector plan or policy, avoiding fragmentation and lack of cohesion in their respective implementation. Other relevant policies – for example those targeting children’s welfare and rights or human rights more generally, or those designed to address specific issues such as the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) – are to be considered alongside the Guide’s recommendations on framing teacher policy (discussed in greater detail in Chapter 2).
In the first instance, this Guide should assist national authorities responsible for education and teacher policy, planning and practice. At a national level, potential audiences may include:
Although designed to facilitate a national policy, the Guide should by extension also assist those at the sub-national level – regional, provincial or state, and local, municipal or village – who are responsible for teacher-related issues.
The Guide applies equally to public and private education providers and teachers – all of whom, as discussed in Section 1.1.2 above, should be included in a national policy. Private education providers include those for whom the government has a supervisory or regulatory function as part of its national responsibilities, including:
In addition to public and private education authorities, this Guide should be of assistance to all stakeholders who may be involved in a policy dialogue with a government as part of developing and implementing a sound national teacher policy, including representatives of the following (see Chapter 4 for a more detailed list):
Now go to Chapter 2 Contextualisation.