TALIS Starting Strong 2018 Results

Background scales

Leader scales

  • Needs for professional development for instructional leadership
  • Environment of the neighborhood
  • Leader support for pedagogical learning
  • Approaches to multicultural and gender diversity
  • Parent engagement/guardian and relationship with the community,
  • Networking with parents, other ECEC leaders, ISCED 1 teachers, and related institutions
  • Distributed leadership
  • Satisfaction with ECEC center, professions, and working conditions,
  • Sources of work stress

Staff scales

  • Staff need for professional development in pedagogical content knowledge
  • Staff need for professional development for dealing with diversity
  • Facilitating socio-emotional development
    • Facilitating child initiative
    • Facilitating prosocial behavior
    • Facilitating emotional development
  • Facilitating learning and development
    • Facilitating language development
    • Facilitating literacy development
    • Facilitating numeracy development
  • Satisfaction with work environment or working conditions
  • Sources of work stress
  • Staff participation in collaborative PD
  • Engagement in collaborative professional practices
  • Activities to enhance the development of children’s abilities and skills; Staff pedagogical practices (Match to the needs)
  • Behavioral support
  • Facilitating parent/guardian engagement
  • Activities to enhance the development of children’s abilities and skills (diverse kinds of activities)
  • Staff beliefs of self-efficacy
  • Satisfaction with profession
  • Behavioral management; facilitating play and child-initiated activities; language stimulation and support for literacy learning staff
  • Situational judgement, facilitating pro-social behavior
  • Situational judgement, facilitating play and child-initiated activities
Other scales

Two different types of indices can be distinguished:

Simple indices - Constructed through simple arithmetical transformation or by recoding one or more items, such as ratios, or binary indicators, for example:

Complex scale indices

  • The underlying variables were intended to measure characteristics that are unobserved, such as self-efficacy or beliefs.
  • The indices were derived using latent modelling within the framework of confirmatory factor analysis (CFA).
  • Typically, scale scores for these indices are estimates of latent traits derived through evaluation of each scale by testing for construct reliability and construct invariance, and final scale modelling.
  • Complex scale-item statistics such as item frequencies and item-total correlations were used to initially evaluate the quality of the scale items across all countries.
  • A reliability coefficient alpha (Cronbach’s alpha) was used as the measure of scale reliability.
Overview of key study results

Center Staff

  • Supporting children’s learning, development and well-being
    • More than 70% of staff report that practices such as encouraging children to help each other and talking with children about feelings are used “a lot” in the center.
    • Practices emphasizing children’s literacy and numeracy are used to a lesser extent than practices used to facilitate children’s socio-emotional development or language and literacy development.
    • In centers for pre-primary education in Iceland, Japan, and Norway, there is a large gap between the percentages of staff who report that encouraging children to talk to each other and playing number games happens “a lot” in their center. In Chile, Korea and Turkey, this gap was found to be smaller, suggesting a more comprehensive approach to children’s learning, development, and well-being.
    • On average, more than 40% of the staff in pre-primary education centers report that they “always or almost always” present activities that extend children’s abilities or give different activities to suit different children’s level of development.
  • Engaging with parents and guardians
    • Engagement practices with parents and guardians were generally found to be well established in ECEC.
    • Exchanging information with parents and guardians regarding children’s development and well-being was found to be more common in centers for children under age three than in centers for older children.
    • Smaller percentages of staff encouraged parents to play and carry out learning activities at home compared to other approaches for engaging with parents/guardians.
    • ECEC staff in Korea were found to adopt a wide range of practices to engage with parents and encourage them to actively participate in their children’s development, while ECEC staff in Israel could potentially widen the range of practices used to engage with parents and guardians.
  • Professional beliefs
    • In many countries, ECEC staff consider the ability to cooperate easily with others to be the most important skill for young children to develop.
    • Oral language skills, the ability to inquire and explore based on children’s own curiosity, and the ability to think creatively were also considered to be “of high importance.” In comparison, fewer ECEC staff believe foundational cognitive skills valued in schools and further education, such as reading, writing, numeracy, and science, are of “high importance” for the center to develop in children.
    • Both teachers and leaders share this perspective on the skills essential for future development.
  • Organization of activities
    • In pre-primary education centers, the size of the target group of children varies from 15 children on average in Denmark (with low response rates), Germany, Iceland, Korea, Norway, and Turkey to more than 20 in Chile, Israel, and Japan.
    • In centers with children under age three, the size of the target group is slightly smaller.
    • Staff working with larger groups report more behavioral support practices (such as asking children to quiet down).
  • Equity and diversity in beliefs and practices
    • In several participating countries, large percentages of staff worked with groups that included a diversity of children, such as children from socio-economically disadvantaged homes or children whose first language was different from the language(s) used in the center.
    • Staff reported that they adapt their practices to the composition of the group of children.
    • Large percentages of staff and leaders reported that it is important to learn about other cultures and that it is common to use books featuring a variety of cultural groups.
    • However, practices such as encouraging children to sometimes play with toys from minority cultures are less prevalent in almost all countries, especially in Germany, Japan, and Norway.
  • Staff gender
    • Across all participating countries, 95% of pre-primary education staff and 96% of staff in centers serving children under age three are women.
  • Education
    • Staff in the ECEC field have typically completed education beyond secondary school.
    • Japan, Korea, and Turkey had the highest rates of ECEC staff with post-secondary education.
    • In Iceland 64% of staff and in Germany 97% underwent training to specifically work with children.
  • Professional development
    • More than 75% of staff reported having participated in professional development activities within the 12 months prior to the survey, with particularly strong rates of participation in Korea and Norway.
    • These professional development training sessions often focus on child development.
    • Staff reported a need for sessions that focused on working with children with special needs.
    • Online courses or seminars are an important component of professional development for pre-primary staff in several countries, including Chile, Israel, Korea, and Turkey.
    • In-person professional development activities are even more prevalent, except in Korea, where these two types of training are equally common.
    • The most common barrier to participation in professional development activities across countries is a lack of staffing to cover absences.
  • Work-related stress
    • Lack of resources is a major source of work-related stress among ECEC staff.
  • Structural features
    • The average number of staff per ten children is about two in pre-primary centers in Germany, Israel, Japan, and Turkey, but more than four in Chile and Norway.
    • The number of staff per child is slightly higher in centers for children under age three.

Center Leaders

  • Engaging with parents and guardians
    • A majority of leaders in pre-primary education centers reported setting up events for families and prospective parents or guardians to visit the center.
    • Leaders in Chile, Korea, and Norway reported engaging parents and guardians through workshops or child development courses, while it was less common for other participating countries to adopt these practices.
    • Meetings to allow parents to contribute to center management decisions occur in Chile, Iceland, Korea, Norway, and Turkey, but less so in Germany, Israel, and Japan.
  • Beliefs of leaders
    • Compared to staff, a larger share of leaders accords high value to children’s skills related to science and technology.
  • Education and professional development
    • Leaders tend to have high levels of education and high rates of participation in professional development activities.
  • Work-related stress
    • For leaders, the primary source of work-related stress is having too much administrative work associated with their jobs.
Sources - Report(s) of results