Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Confident Teacher Is a Better Teacher

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

A Confident Teacher Is a Better Teacher

Article excerpt

Report finds staff's self-belief can influence achievement

Teachers with confidence in their abilities tend to find that their students perform better, a new report says.

The study, by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), suggests that countries which want to improve education should focus on teachers' self-belief.

Published ahead of an international summit of education ministers and union representatives in Canada this weekend, the report finds that teachers with high levels of confidence in their abilities tend to achieve better results (bit.ly/OECDefficacy). It says that high levels of "self-efficacy" among teachers - defined as "belief in their ability to teach, engage students and manage a classroom" - have a positive impact on students' attainment.

Teachers with a poor sense of self-efficacy, it says, face greater difficulties with student misbehaviour and tend to be more stressed. Factors that improve teachers' confidence include greater experience in the classroom, being involved in decision-making at school level, not teaching students with behavioural difficulties, forming good relationships with colleagues and being involved in "collaborative professional learning activities", the report continues.

Education International, the global federation of teaching unions, hailed the findings as the first indication from the OECD that teachers' confidence is linked to students' attainment.

A report by the federation says that the OECD findings have "enormous implications" for education policy. …

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