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International TALIS 2018 Survey: Schools instil a sense of community more than before

Ministry of Education and Culture 5.10.2020 12.00
Press release

The profession of teacher is still valued in society. Teachers experience that schools in Finland have a good spirit of community. However, teachers are less satisfied with their working environment than before. They no longer enjoy work as much as they used to. The changing demands, administrative work and having to adjust teaching to the needs of children and young people in need of special support are the main stress factors for teachers. This is the information shown in the OECD TALIS survey, which included 48 countries.

The results of the national part of TALIS 2018 (Teaching and Learning International Survey) are published in two parts. These are the results of the second part of the study. The results give an idea of the working conditions of teachers and school leaders and how they experience the teaching environment of their own school. Approximately 2,850 secondary school teachers and 150 school leaders participated in the study in Finland, and internationally, a total of around 160,000 secondary school teachers and 9,400 school leaders took part in it. The data were collected in spring 2018. Each participating country may use the results in developing its own education policy.

“The TALIS survey gives information on the strengths and challenges of the Finnish education system. This is important and helps steer work in the right direction to develop our educational system using research-based data,” says Minister of Science and Culture Annika Saarikko.

Schools emphasise greater sense of community

Schools encourage working collaboratively than before. Collaborative teamwork in teaching and taking part in professional cooperative learning have become more common among teachers over the past five years. Teachers trust each other and schools encourage everyone to show initiative. Sharing responsibility is an integral part of schools.

However, the results of the survey show that there is still much to be done to improve the sense of community in Finland. For example, teachers in Sweden and Norway engage in different forms of collaborative efforts with other teachers more actively than do teachers in Finland. Teachers in Finland also feel that they receive on average much less feedback on their work compared with other reference countries in the survey.

Teachers' work satisfaction in Finland is good, but diminishing

More than 90% of teachers in Finland said that the advantages of their job outweigh the disadvantages. Teachers' satisfaction with their work environment and profession is marginally diminishing. Job satisfaction has dropped by 3 percentage points over the past five years. Teachers are less likely than before to recommend their own school as a good place to work. In addition, the share of teachers who said they would choose the profession of teacher again has slightly decreased.

Keeping up with the pace of changes imposed on schools and teachers, an excessive amount of administrative tasks and taking into account the needs of students in need of special support are all stress factors for teachers. Young female teachers under 30 years of age experience the most stress in Finland. The greatest presssure for school leaders comes from the increase in administrative duties.

“It is important to look after the wellbeing of both teachers and students. Wellbeing affects the quality of teaching and studying. When teachers are satisfied with their work, we can offer high-quality and equitable education at school,” Minister of Education Li Andersson said.

Focus in survey on teachers and school leaders

The research material was collected using questionnaires designed for teachers and school leaders, and the questionnaires were drawn up in cooperation with international partners. The survey was carried out in the form of online and paper questionnaires in spring 2018.

“The survey provides decision-makers, teachers and principals with extensive international comparative information on schools as an operating environment and the opportunity to develop teaching, education evaluation and education policy,” said Matti Taajamo, Project Manager at the Finnish Institute for Educational Research, which is based at the University of Jyväskylä. 

The respondents were selected by random sampling. The response rate of teachers was 94% in Finland, which is high. 

The survey is widely supported

The TALIS 2018 survey is a project led by the OECD and coordinated by the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA). In Finland, the survey was carried out by the Finnish Institute for Educational Research at the University of Jyväskylä. 

It is supported by the Ministry of Education and Culture, the Finnish National Agency for Education, the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ), the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Education Evaluation Centre (FINEEC).

The report on the results of the survey will be published on the website of the Finnish National Agency for Education and the TALIS Survey website at 12 on 5 October 2020:

Finnish National Agency for Education: Report on survey results

University of Jyväskylä: TALIS Survey


  • Matti Taajamo, National Project Manager and Senior Researcher, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 40 805 4281, [email protected]
  • Eija Puhakka, Assistant Project Manager and Data Manager, Finnish Institute for Educational Research, University of Jyväskylä, tel. +358 400 545 105, [email protected]
  • Kristina Kaihari, Counsellor of Education, Finnish National Agency for Education, tel. +358 29 533 1085, [email protected]
  • Kurt Torsell, Director, Education and services in Swedish, Finnish National Agency for Education, tel. +358 29 533 1887, [email protected]
  • Marjo Vesalainen, Senior Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, +358 29 533 0352, [email protected]
  • Sanna Vahtivuori-Hänninen, Senior Specialist, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. +358 29 533 0134, [email protected]