Standards frameworks aligned to a comprehensive strategy to improve teaching

Coherent policies and systems that continuously support teacher improvement throughout all career stages are crucial. Without a well-articulated strategy, teacher policies in different domains may be poorly connected, fragmented and incoherent, thereby undermining the effective improvement of the teaching profession. Darling-Hammond (2012b) suggests several key elements for such a systematic approach:

  • Common standards for teaching that are related to meaningful student learning
  • Performance assessments based on these standards that guide authority functions such as teacher preparation and licensing
  • Various on-the-job assessments of practice aligned on the same standards
  • Support structures to guarantee these mechanisms, including trained evaluators, mentoring for teachers
  • Aligned professional learning opportunities that support teachers.

In effective systems, standards frameworks must form an integral part of a holistic strategy to improve teacher quality.

3.7.4 Key conditions for successful implementation

Teachers’ ownership and broad agreement