Teacher Education Policies: Meta-Analytic Approaches and Tools

Project Number
RS 8/15 TOS

Project Duration
February 2016 - July 2017


Education is arguably the most important national investment over the long-term. Quality education impacts nation building, and society's capacity to adapt, create value, and innovate. Education is key to human flourishing, the celebration of our cultural roots and values, the appreciation of diversity, and the preservation of peace and harmony. Current evidence indicates that teacher quality is a major anchoring factor in the success of education performance across the globe (Cohen-Vogel, 2005; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2005; Mourshed, Chijoke, & Barger, 2010). Studies such as Akiba, LeTendre and Scribner (2007) concluded in their recent meta-analytic research that empirical and cross-national evidence indicate clearly that investing in teacher quality is a step to excellence in nationalachievement. Today, there are more than 60 million teachers globally, making teaching, arguably, among the world's largest professions, and one that has played an enduring, important role in every human society through history. Teacher quality has a significant impact on student learning and achievement which, in tum, directly affects workforce capabilities and broader socio-economic development. In short, the "teacher factor" is a key catalytic force for progress across all dimensions of development. Given the importance of the teacher factor, sufficient time and resources must be directed towards refining teacher policies to drive a constantly improving education system. It has become imperative that governments invest in resources to attract, retain, and develop talented people for the teaching profession. Therefore, policies to attract the best people, maximise their potential and empower them to reach their personal best as teachers are highly needed. In the past, the policy focus was on the provision of education, today it is on outcomes, shifting from looking upwards in the bureaucracy towards looking outwards to the next teacher, the next school (Schleicher, 2012). Using meta-analytic approaches, this project aims to synthesize and analyse global data on teacher policies to establish their appropriateness for the improvement of education systems. Meta-analysis is a technique that permits the quantitative synthesis of results from many individual empirical studies that focus on the same topic (Glass, McGaw, & Smith, 1981). It is particularly useful for drawing conclusions with more confidence when individual primary studies present conflicting findings (Camilli, Vargas, & Yurecko, 2003). Conducting a meta-analysis has been described as a series of five steps (Cooper & Hedges, 1994) that include problem formulation, literature search, coding studies, computing effect sizes, analyzing the data and interpreting the results. Meta-analysis has been used widely to evaluate aspects of teacher education such as pre-service teacher training, attrition and retention (Wade, 1984-1985; Kirschner & Davis, 206; Borman & Dowling, 2008; Watts & Lawson, 2009; Depaepe, Verschaffel & Kelchtermans, 2013). However, the main gap in previous meta-analytic studies is that little assessment has been done on the effectiveness of policies for developing the teaching profession. It is to plug into this research gap that this project aims to fulfil.

Funding Source

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