It is one of the data on Spain that reveals the International Study on Teaching and Learning (TALIS, according to its acronym in English), promoted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The acting Secretary of State for Education and VET, Alejandro Tiana, and the head of the Education and Competence Program of the OECD, Marta Encinas-Martín, presented this study at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Vocational Training. that nine out of ten elementary teachers (94%) would choose the teaching profession again.
TALIS analyzes the situation of teachers, their educational practices in the classroom and the contexts in which they are developed. The results are obtained through confidential online surveys distributed to the teachers of Primary and Secondary Education (specifically, of the first three years of Compulsory Secondary Education) and to directors of educational centers.
The study is carried out every five years and the data presented today corresponds to TALIS 2018, to the volume of teachers and directors of educational centers as life-long students. It encompasses 48 countries, including Spain, which has participated since its first edition, prepared in 2008.
For the first time, our country also participates in the primary level, in addition to the secondary level (present in the two previous editions). On this occasion, seven autonomous communities have expanded the sample in both educational levels to obtain their own representative data. These communities are Cantabria, Castilla y León, Catalonia, Comunidad de Madrid, Comunidad Valenciana, La Rioja and Principado de Asturias.
Increase in the number of women in management positions
The study shows that 85.6% of Spanish secondary school teachers feel quite satisfied with their professional choice, which is significantly above the OECD-31 average (76%), and affirm that the advantages of the profession surpass clearly the disadvantages. In the case of primary school this percentage reaches 89%.
Regarding the motivations to be a teacher, nine out of 10 primary school teachers (93%) emphasize that teaching allows influencing the development of children and young people, as well as making a contribution to society.
Although the teaching profession is feminized both in primary and secondary school, in Spain it is striking that the imbalance between teachers is lower than in the OECD average.
Regarding the presence of women in management positions, the percentage has increased in secondary since 2008, from 40% to 49%, slightly above the OECD average (from 39% to 47%). In primary school, 62% of women hold management positions, although 76% of female teachers exist. In secondary school, 49% of the management positions are held by women, and 62% of the teachers are also women.
Regarding the training of secondary school directors, it has increased since 2013. A further 14.5% has received training in pedagogical leadership (from 59.3% to 73.8%). The proportion of secondary school directors who have received training in administration or management of educational centers has also increased, from 82.7% to 85% today.
Initiation programs for teachers
In Spain, the directors of one of every three primary and secondary schools claim to have formal initiation programs for teachers who join their center. In the OECD-30 average, the figures are 20 percentage points higher.
On the other hand, four out of 10 centers have a tutorial system for new teachers in the profession.
In secondary school, 74% of teachers declare that they have not received training in the educational center in their first job, neither formal nor informal (62% in the OECD), 80% in the case of those who have accessed teaching in the five years prior to this study. 58% of secondary schools in Spain do not have teacher tutoring programs.
"Very positive" relationships between teachers and students
Ministry of Education and Vocational TrainingThe study also shows that the student / teacher ratio in Spain, in primary school, is one of the lowest in the OECD, of 13 students per teacher. In high school it is 12 students, equal to the OECD-29 average.
The relationships between students and teachers are "very positive" in both educational stages. This is expressed by nine out of 10 teachers in the aspects analyzed: teachers and students usually get along, most teachers believe that the welfare of students is important and is interested in what students have to say.
With regard to teaching practices, the most significant increase from 2013 to 2018 is in the use by students of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to carry out projects or do exercises in class. More than half of the professors in the OECD countries (53%) and Spain (51%) state that they regularly use this practice in their classes (both 14 percentage points more than in 2013).
Regarding the evaluation made by teachers to students, in Spain eight out of 10 teachers in both primary and secondary say they make written observations on the work of students, in addition to putting a note. Compared with other countries, in secondary education, Spain is one of the nations with the highest proportion of teachers performing this practice compared to 58% of the OECD average.
Educational practices against discrimination
Also in relation to educational practices, Spanish primary school directors ensure that nine out of 10 teachers work in multicultural centers, where they teach how to deal with cultural and ethnic discrimination. This percentage is 86% in secondary compared to 80% in the OECD.
However, teaching in multicultural and multilingual environments is not usually part of the formal education of OECD secondary teachers. 29% in Spain and 35% in the OECD-31 average have received training in this area. In any case, training to teach in multicultural or plurilingual environments has increased markedly among teachers incorporated into the profession in the five years prior to this study.
In this context, in primary schools, the most common practice is to teach students to be inclusive of those with different socioeconomic origins, implemented in 98% of the centers. In secondary school this percentage is 97%, above the OECD-30 average of 93%.
In addition, nine out of every 10 primary schools carry out specific policies against gender discrimination, with this percentage of 91% in Secondary Education also above the OECD-30/29 average of 80%.
Review of initial training
Regarding the initial training of teachers, 40% of primary school teachers state that they have received training to teach in multicultural and multilingual environments in their formal education. The percentage increases to 60% in the case of those who have joined the profession in the five years prior to this study.
In Secondary Education, initial training in pedagogy has improved among teachers who have joined the profession in the five years prior to this study, standing at 85% teachers who have received training in general pedagogy and 84% in pedagogy specific. In the OECD-31 the percentages are 94% and 89% respectively.
Teachers' ICT training has also increased: around 90% of primary school teachers in Spain enrolled in the five years prior to this study declare that they are included in their formal education.
On the other hand, only one out of every 10 elementary teachers in Spain has not received training in content in the subject they currently teach, 14% have not done teaching practice on it and 15% have not received training in their pedagogy.
Limited support staff
ArchiveIn Primary Education there is, on average, one person of pedagogical support for every 11 teachers, one of the highest ratios of the participating countries.
In Secondary Education, this rate indicates that there is, on average, one support person for every 20 secondary teachers, a ratio that is also significantly higher than that of the OECD-30 average (one support person for every 12 teachers).
The shortage of support staff, in the opinion of the directors, affects the educational centers in both primary (53%) and secondary (42% in Spain and 33% in OECD-30). The shortage of trained teachers also affects to teach students in a multicultural environment, 29% in primary and 17% in secondary.
Approximately a quarter of the centers in both stages are affected by the shortage of qualified teachers to teach students with special educational needs, as well as to teach students from socio-economically disadvantaged households (14%). In these two aspects, the OECD average registers higher percentages (32% and 17% respectively).
Demand for greater social valuation
Very few elementary teachers in Spain (12%) think that the teaching profession is well valued by society. Only about 14% of Spanish secondary school teachers say they feel their profession is well valued socially.
In the OECD-31 average, a quarter of the teachers (26%) think that teaching is well valued by society.
A second volume, in 2020
The TALIS 2018 surveys took place in March and April 2018 and 843 schools throughout Spain participated. Both the centers and the teachers and directors are selected randomly. 200 schools and approximately 20 teachers from each of them are chosen for each level of education. The communities that expand the sample participate with about 50 centers each. Next to this first volume, Teachers and directors of educational centers as students for life, in the spring of 2020 a second volume will be published, Teachers and school leaders: valued professionals.