Data and Methodology

Banner: Global Teacher Prize Finalist Anh Phuong Ha (Vietnam)

Reading Between The Lines

What The World Really Thinks of Teachers




This report is based principally on data from the 2018 GTSI survey. This survey, which was undertaken by the polling company Populus, included more than 41,000 people in 35 countries. The sample in each country comprised two components. First, quota sampling was used to obtain a balanced and demographically representative sample of 1,000 members of the general public in each country. Second, an additional over-sample of 200 teachers was surveyed in each country. Data were collected through a mix of online and face-to-face, computer-aided personal interviewing (CAPI). Full details of the survey methodology can be found in Dolton et al., (2018). A full copy of the questionnaire is included as an Appendix to this report. All results described in this report are based on the general population sample in each country. An additional over-sample of teachers was also surveyed, but the data from this additional sample is excluded from the following analyses.


This report describes the results of three main sets of analyses:

Measuring teacher status

An examination of three alternative measures of teacher status:

  • Ranking status measure: How teachers are ranked relative to other comparable occupations.
  • Implicit status measure: Measuring respondents’ implicit perceptions of teachers.
  • Explicit status measure: Measuring respondents’ explicit judgements about teachers.

The derivation of these measures is described in detail in the section “Teacher status: Three alternate measures”.

Comparing teacher status and student attainment

An examination of the relationship between the three alternative measures of teacher status and student attainment, as measured by PISA scores. These analyses examine the relationship between:

  • Average teacher status scores; and:
  • Average scores in PISA Reading, Mathematics and Science at the country level from the 2018 PISA assessments.

It should be noted that five of the 35 countries participating in the GTSI 2018 survey did not take part in the PISA assessments (Egypt, Ghana, India, Taiwan and Uganda[1]). Our analyses are therefore based on the remaining 30 countries. Full details of this analysis are given in the section “Teacher status and student outcomes”.

Examining the factors that drive teacher status

An examination of country-level predictors of teacher status. These analyses examine the relationship between:

  • Various country-level predictors (including national wealth, education spending, the gender composition of the teaching workforce, and measures of cultural values); and:
  • Average teacher status.

Data sources and details of each indicator are given in the section “Teacher status across countries”.

[1] Due to differences in education systems, education outcomes, and teacher status, we consider Taiwan separately from the People’s Republic of China for the purposes of our analyses.