International student evaluations, policy recommendations, and the teaching profession: Does context matter?
When resources are scarce, and teaching policies must be selected and enacted at a national level, how do policymakers select the policy options most suited to their context? Few economies can improve the selection of teacher candidates, improve the quality of pre-service training, improve induction and mentoring programs, support teacher collaboration and autonomy, design meaningful teacher appraisal, and pay teachers higher salaries, all at the same time. Yet international policy recommendations indicate that these, together, are the pathway to becoming a successful educational system. Where should policymakers start?
In my doctoral research I address these questions. I conceptualize the teaching profession as a social ecology, regulated and mediated by macro and micro level factors, and explore the contextually complex relationships between macro and culture conditions, teaching conditions, and student outcomes with set-theoretic methods. I investigate the dilemma of how to prioritize among competing policy options and attempt to shed light on which system-specific factors mediate the relationships between teacher professionalism and outcomes.