Teachers Seen as Making Difference in World's Top Schools
The world’s top-performing school systems and those coming up fast have a lesson to teach the others: Put high-quality teaching for every child at the heart of school improvement. School system success hinges on getting the right people to become teachers, helping them learn to teach, and crafting a system that ensures every child will get access to the teaching he needs. Neither resources nor ambitious reforms have been the answer to the need for school improvement. Top-performing systems are typically both restrictive and selective about who is able to train as a teacher, recruiting their teachers from the top third of each group leaving secondary school. Teachers are offered good starting compensation, usually on a par with other college graduates, but the status of the profession is at least equally important in maintaining quality. Once the right people are secured, the top-performing systems help them become first-class teachers by enabling them to learn from each other, widespread coaching of their practice in the classroom, and developing strong school leaders skilled in instruction. Some high-performing systems, the report notes, focus greatly expanded resources on teachers’ first year.
Barber, M., & Mourshed, M.(2007). How the world's best-performing school systems come out on top. New York: McKinsey.