Celebrating World Teachers’ Day

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On Friday 27 October, Australia celebrates World Teachers’ Day . The day provides an opportunity to celebrate our teachers, and to recognise the challenges they face working in a pressured and underfunded school system.

On a recent visit to Australia, the head of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), Andreas Schleicher, talked about the challenges facing Australia’s education system, and the role of teachers in boosting student achievement.

He said high-performing school systems, ‘…provide intelligent pathways for teachers to grow in their careers. High-performing countries also have moved on from bureaucratic control and accountability to professional forms of work organisation. They encourage their teachers to make innovations in pedagogy, to improve their own performance and that of their colleagues, and to pursue professional development that leads to stronger education practice. He added that ‘nowhere does the quality of a school system exceed the quality of its teachers’.

The OECD recently found that Australian teachers are working harder, as investment in education is lags.

In Australia, the professional role of teachers is being undermined by funding cuts. The shift to high stakes standardised testing ignores the fact that teachers are best placed to assess their students on an ongoing basis and to respond to their learning needs. Teachers and students need a well-resourced and supportive system that the OECD acknowledges has a significant impact on learning outcomes.

This week, UNESCO also released its Global Education Monitoring report, which warned against blaming our hard-working teachers for resourcing and other challenges that are beyond their control.

On World Teachers’ Day, it’s important to support and celebrate teachers and to appreciate the serious challenges they face in working in an underfunded school system.

Download the World Teachers' Day poster.