Teachers hampered by low incentives: survey

Tue Jun 16, 2009 9:52am EDT
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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A combination of unruly students and low incentives is making it difficult for teachers to improve the quality of their work, a report by the OECD said on Tuesday.

The survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), carried out in 23 countries including Australia, Belgium, Spain and Brazil, said many of the nations surveyed needed to improve teachers' incentives.

"Three out of four teachers feel that they lack incentives to improve the quality of their teaching," said the Teaching and Learning International Survey, the first of its kind.

In Australia, the Flanders region of Belgium, Ireland and Norway, more than 90 percent of teachers said they do not expect any reward for improving the quality of their teaching, it said.

Teachers also blamed a hostile environment for their lack of enthusiasm.

Bad behavior by students disrupts lessons in three schools out of five in the countries surveyed, according to the report which was carried out with support from the European Commission, executive arm of the 27-nation European Union.

Students' absenteeism, lateness, profanity and swearing, and intimidation and verbal abuse of other pupils also hinder the effectiveness of teachers.

"On average, teachers spend 13 percent of classroom time maintaining order," the report said.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; Editing by Sophie Hares)