With increasingly complex and challenging working conditions and social devaluation, the teaching profession appears to be facing severe problems, which primarily translate into a high teacher dropout rate and could have serious consequences on student success.
This issue becomes even more significant in the context of inclusion, where more and more students considered to be at risk are found in regular classrooms, further complicating the challenges faced by today's teachers.
How can Québec use this knowledge to better support its teachers?
To nurture the passion that drives those who choose a career in teaching, a number of education systems are focusing on measures that include providing support for the professional development of teachers, particularly during their professional integration. But what are the support mechanisms and practices that have proven effective in high-performing education systems? And how can Québec use this knowledge to better support its teachers?
During this knowledge synthesis, we analyzed teacher support and guidance practices used in different education systems that are considered to be high-performing (Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Singapore) and in education systems with a focus on inclusion (Belgium, France, Switzerland). Personalized peer guidance (mentoring, tutoring), professional development plans and cooperative professional groups appear to be particularly effective. Unlike the systematic approach favoured by many education systems, Québec still relies on local initiatives, which are unequal and whose impacts are rarely evaluated.
The findings of our knowledge synthesis offer food for thought regarding a systematic approach to providing support for teaching staff, implemented with all stakeholders involved.
Mirela Moldoveanu, Université du Québec à Montréal
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Deposit of the research report: November 2015