International Teacher Policy Study - Country Briefs

National Strategies for Professionalizing Teaching as a Career
International Teacher Policy Study - Country Briefs cover
June 15, 2017
Linda Darling-Hammond
Dion Burns
Carol Campbell
A. Lin Goodwin
Karen Hamerness
Ee Ling Low
Ann McIntyre
Mistilina Sato
Kenneth Zeichner
Publisher: Jossey-Bass
How do the highest-achieving school systems in the world develop their teachers?

To prepare students for an evolving and increasingly interconnected world, a growing number of countries have remodeled their education systems to deliver an education built for the 21st century, producing higher achievement and greater equity than the U.S. 

With the support of the Center on International Benchmarking at the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), and the Ford Foundation, the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE) drew together a global team of education researchers in a three-year study, producing unparalleled insights for U.S. educators, researchers, and policymakers. The result is the International Teacher Policy Study (ITPS). The study reveals key answers to the central question of how other countries have surpassed the U.S. in preparing their students to compete in the 21st century global economy. For details on the study and a full listing of publications and videos produced by the study go to >>>

Researchers investigated seven jurisdictions across four continents. Their findings reveal that high achieving countries have long-term strategies to build effective systems and that a key component of the strategies is a sustained commitment to professionalizing teaching as a career.

The following five country briefs summarize the teacher strategies in each of the high-performing countries:

  • Australia: Toward a National System – Describes Australia's strategy for building a comprehensive policy for developing teacher capacity, a key lever for improving system performance and equity.
  • Canada: Diversity and Decentralization - Describes some of the features of the Alberta and Ontario systems that develop, strengthen, and support teacher quality and build teacher capacity for providing strong instruction.
  • Finland: Constructing Teacher Quality - This brief examines Finland’s policies and practices that strengthen teacher preparation, build a highly-effective teacher workforce, and produce strong and equitable levels of student performance.
  • Shanghai: Culture, Policy, and Practice - Describes the Shanghai education system, shows how teachers are regarded, and describes how the government invests its resources, structures schools, and supports, develops, and rewards this important workforce.
  • Singapore: A Teaching Model for the 21st Century - Describes how the Singapore education system, an international leader in education, is structured to produce well-trained teachers and high-quality teaching.