The average Israeli middle school teacher is a middle aged woman who is for the most part satisfied with her chosen profession, the National Authority for Measurement and Evaluation in Education said on Wednesday, citing the results of the Organizations for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Teaching and Learning International Survey.

According to the report, the typical Israeli middle school teacher is a 42 year old woman with 16 years of teaching experience and who completed a teacher education or training program.

The results further indicated that with regards to job satisfaction, only a third of teachers (33.7%) believe that the teaching profession is valued in society. However despite this belief, 94.4% of teachers indicated they were satisfied with their job.

TALIS collects internationally comparable data on the learning environment and the working conditions of teachers in schools across the world, offering timely and comparable information on the teaching profession and educational policies.

The survey provides an opportunity for teachers and principals to provide their input into educational policy and development in specific areas. Among the themes explored in the survey, include professional development, school leadership, teaching practices, school climate, appraisal and feedback, job satisfaction and teacher profiles.

The survey takes place every five years, with the first survey taking place in 2008 comparing 24 countries. This year marked the first time Israel participated in the comparative analysis, which provided data for 34 countries. According to the findings, a larger proportion of teachers in Israel are female than in most other TALIS countries, 76.3% compared to 68.1%.

Similarly, there are slightly more female principals, 52.6%, than the TALIS average of 49.4% and principals in Israel are on average younger than in most other TALIS countries, 48.9 years compared to 51.5 years old.

Furthermore, more than half of principals, 53.2% believe that the teaching profession is valued in society, compared to only 44% of other TALIS countries. In addition, a higher rate of principals, nearly 97.8% were satisfied with their job, compared to the TALIS average of 95.6%.

Despite this, more than half of principals, 53% indicated that a lack of qualified teachers harms schools' abilities to provide quality teaching, compared to only 39% of TALIS countries. In addition, the survey indicated pars between the uses of technology in Israeli schools compared to the TALIS average. Some 59% of principals indicated that a lack of computers for teaching harmed the quality of teaching compared to 39% of TALIS countries.

Teachers reported spending 76.6% of their lessons on actual teaching and learning, compared to the TALIS average of 78.7%, with 22% of their time devoted to administrative tasks and keeping order in the class, 9% and 13% respectively. Teachers reported spending an average of 18 hours per week teaching, just short of the TALIS average of 19 hours, with five hours preparing lesson plans and four hours grading student work (compared to TALIS average of 7 hours and 5 hours respectively).

With regards to professional development, teachers in Israel scored higher in this area than the TALIS average. More than half of teachers indicated they had taken part in a formal induction program, higher than the TALIS average of 48.6%. In addition, 20.2% of teachers have a mentor assigned to them, compared to the TALIS average of 12.8%. A vast majority of teachers, 91.1% undertook professional development within the last 12 months, compared to TALIS average of 88.4%.

Nearly a quarter, 24.5% of teachers reported a high level of need to develop their technology skills for teaching and 22.8% indicated a similar need to develop skill to teach students with special needs.

The survey questioned 3,403 teachers (grades 7-9) and 191 principals from 195 schools in the state and state-religious education systems. Of the participants 2,317 teachers and 131 principals were from Hebrew speaking schools and 1,086 teachers and 60 principals from Arab speaking schools. The data was collected via teacher questionnaires during March through May 2013.

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