Teaching and Teachers in Education Systems


On 15 November 2022 from 14:00 to 17:00 GMT, RISE will hold a two-part webinar exploring the question: How can education authorities and organisations develop empowered, highly respected, strongly performance-normed, contextually embedded teaching professionals who cultivate student learning?

Part 1: What have we learned about how to support teaching? Reflections from RISE researchers (14:00-15:30 GMT)

Chair: Michelle Kaffenberger, RISE Deputy Director of Research, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford


  • Jacobus Cilliers, Associate Teaching Professor, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University and Member of RISE Tanzania
  • Joan DeJaeghere, Professor, Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development, University of Minnesota and Principal Investigator for RISE Vietnam
  • Shintia Revina, Researcher, SMERU Research Institute (Indonesia) and Member of RISE Indonesia
    • ​​​​​​​Slide deck - Coming soon!
  • Soufia Anis Siddiqi, Assistant Professor, Syed Ahsan Ali and Syed Maratib Ali School of Education, Lahore University of Management Sciences and Member of RISE Political Economy of Adoption
    • Slide deck - Coming soon!
  • Yue-Yi Hwa, RISE Research Manager, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford

About the event

There has been tremendous progress toward the world’s commitment to giving every child a school education—and now that most children are in school, the focus must shift to learning, which requires fundamental change. A crucial part of such change is taking systemwide action to support teaching.

Teaching is a complex craft. Accordingly, supporting teaching can involve many different actions. For example, education authorities must ensure that teachers have access to high-quality training and instructional materials that suit the needs of the children in their classrooms. Also, teacher career structures must be designed to attract, retain, and motivate quality teaching—based on the motivational preferences of teachers in the context and on localised visions of what it means to be a good teacher.

Part 1 of the webinar will explore these and other aspects of how educations systems can support teaching. The session will begin with brief presentations from Joan DeJaeghere, Shintia Revina, Soufia Anis Siddiqi, Jacobus Cilliers, and Yue-Yi Hwa. In their presentations, each of these five researchers will draw on research they conducted throughout the duration of the RISE Programme to answer the question: “What have we learned about how to support teaching?” These presentations will be reflective and practical rather than technical and theoretical. They will draw on research spanning a range of country contexts, academic disciplines, and research approaches.

The presentations will be followed with an open discussion on how to support teaching, chaired by Michelle Kaffenberger and drawing on questions from the audience.

Part 2: Purpose, pressures, and possibilities: Conversations about teacher professional norms in the Global South (15:30-17:00 GMT)

Chair: Yue-Yi Hwa, RISE Research Manager, Blavatnik School of Government at the University of Oxford


  • Barbara Bruns, Non-Resident Fellow, Center for Global Development and Member of the RISE Intellectual Leadership Team
  • Barbara Tournier, Programme Specialist, International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), UNESCO
  • Belay Hagos Hailu, Associate Professor of Education, Addis Ababa University and Member of RISE Ethiopia
  • Joaquín Walker, Executive Director, Elige Educar (Chile)
  • Laura Savage, Executive Director, International Education Funders Group and Member of RISE Delivery Board
  • Yamini Aiyar, President and Chief Executive, Centre for Policy Research (India) and Collaborator with RISE Political Economy of Implementation

About the event

Beyond official regulations and formal standards, teachers’ classroom practice and daily experiences is profoundly shaped by dominant, context-specific norms. These norms are often informal, and they may not be obvious to external observers at first glance. Obvious or otherwise, teacher norms can be a key contributor to the fact that many children around the world complete primary school without learning how to read, write, or do basic maths. For example, in some education systems, dominant norms may prompt teachers to pursue curricular completion rather than children’s understanding, or to pay more attention to high-scoring students than to their less academically prepared classmates.

Part 2 of the webinar marks the launch of a significant new project on teacher norms. Titled Purpose, pressures, and possibilities: Conversations about teacher professional norms in the Global South, the project takes the form of an asynchronous symposium of 14 paired interviews between 28 interlocutors with complementary expertise in different contexts or areas related to teacher professional norms. At the event, we will launch a book that compiles edited transcripts from the interviews together with three discussant-style essays in which other experts reflect on the paired interviews. 

Project editor Yue-Yi Hwa will begin with a brief introduction of the project, followed by a roundtable with a number of the project interlocutors: Belay Hagos Hailu, Yamini Aiyar, Joaquín Walker (representing colleague Verónica Cabezas), Laura Savage, and Barbara Tournier. The roundable will grapple with the intentionally provocative question of, “Should we try to reorient teacher professional norms toward student learning—and, if so, how should we do this?”

Next, the roundtable will field some questions for the audience. Finally, the roundable will conclude with closing remarks from discussant essay author Barbara Bruns.