“Facts and Myths About Great Teachers Around the World” KDP Laureate Panel

pasi.sahlberg

KDP-Laureate-Talk-2015

“Facts and Myths About

Great Teachers Around

the World”

KDP Laureate Panel

23 October 2015

Orlando, FL

@pasi_sahlberg


Theory of Change:

“We need the best & the brightest to

teach.”

• Andreas Schleicher, OECD: Release of TALIS, 25 June 2014

• Amanda Ripley: The Smartest Kids in the World (2013), p.89

• Arne Duncan, Secretary of Education, in Twitter on 9 Nov

2013

• Michael Gove, Secretary of Education, speech on Sept 5, 2013

• Jeb Bush, speech on Aug 9, 2013

• …


Idea #1

“The most important single factor

in improving quality of education is

teachers.”


Fact #1

Teachers account for about 1% to

14% of the variability in test

scores.”


Idea #2

“The quality of an education system

cannot exceed the quality of its

teachers.”


Fact #2

Student learning improves when

teaching is a team sport:

• Teacher collaboration

• Relationships

• Teacher support networks

• Social capital


Idea #3

“Teaching is not rocket science.” , it

is more complicated than that.”


Idea #3

“Teaching is not rocket science, it is

more complicated than that.”


Idea #4

“We need the best and the brightest

to teach.”


“Three of the top-performing school systems in

the world -- those in Finland, Singapore and

South Korea -- take a different approach,

recruiting 100 percent of their teachers from

the top third of their high school and college

students. Simply put, they don't take middling

students and make them teachers. They tap their

best people for the job.”

- McKinsey report (2010) "Closing the Talent Gap: Attracting and

Retaining Top Third Graduates to a Career in Teaching"


Florida House of Representatives (2015):

“It is the intent of the Legislature to

designate teachers who have achieved

high academic standards during their

own education as Florida's best and

brightest teacher scholars.”


Applicants and accepted to Primary School Teacher

Education Programs in Finland

10000

9000

8000

7000

6000

5000

4000

Series1 Total applicants

Series2 Female applicants

Series3 Male applicants

Series4 Accepted

3000

2000

1000

0

2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014


Academic Profile of Accepted Primary School Teacher

Education Students at the University of Helsinki in 2014

25

Percentage of accepted students

20

15

10

5

2300

120

The Best and the Brightest

0

1–10 11–20 21-­‐30 31-­‐40 41-­‐50 51-­‐60 61-­‐70 71-­‐80 81-­‐90 90-­‐100

Students score points in Matriculation Examination


Academic Profile of Accepted Primary School Teacher

Education Students at the University of Helsinki in 2014

25

24%

24%

20

Percentage of accepted students

15

10

5

0

1–10 11–20 21-­‐30 31-­‐40 41-­‐50 51-­‐60 61-­‐70 71-­‐80 81-­‐90 90-­‐100

Students score points in Matriculation Examination


Idea #4

“We need the best and the brightest

to teach.”


Conclusion

Myths and beliefs about great

teachers lead to wrong-headed

policies that are counterproductive

to improving schools and the

quality of education systems.


Thank you!

@pasi_sahlberg

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