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Improving Teacher Quality Around the World: The International Summit on the Teaching Profession


"When people describe teachers who had the greatest influence on them, they invariably describe teachers who were caring, passionate about their subject, and good at getting them to do their very best. But how do education systems recruit, develop, and keep enough of such teachers? This is the central challenge facing countries across the globe as they seek to create world-class education systems to prepare all their students for the fast-changing global knowledge economy.

And this is the challenge that brought ministers of education, union leaders, out- standing teachers, and other education experts from sixteen high-performing and rapidly improving countries and regions (as measured by performance on the 2009 PISA) to New York City for the International Summit on the Teaching Profession, which took place on March 16 and 17, 2011. The Summit represented many firsts. It was the first ever international summit on the teaching profession. And it was the first to bring together ministers of education and teachers' union leaders from many countries to the same table. Recognizing that teachers are the single most important in-school ingredient when it comes to student achievement and that the quality of an education system rests on the quality of its teachers, the goals of the Summit were to:

  • Put a spotlight on the teaching profession;
  • Identify and share the world's best policies and practices in developing a high-quality profession;
  • Examine ways of engaging teachers in education reform; and
  • Initiate an ongoing international dialogue on the teaching profession."