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Indicator 11: Teachers’ Reports on Managing Classroom Behaviors
(Last Updated: July 2020)

In 2018, some 93 percent of lower secondary teachers in U.S. public schools reported that they were able to make expectations about student behavior clear quite a bit or a lot, 88 percent reported that they were able to get students to follow classroom rules quite a bit or a lot, 85 percent reported that they were able to control disruptive behavior in the classroom quite a bit or a lot, and 80 percent reported that they were able to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy quite a bit or a lot. These percentages were not measurably different from the respective OECD averages.

In the Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) administered in 2018, lower secondary teachers (grades 7–9 in the United States) were asked to rate their ability in managing student behaviors, including controlling disruptive behavior in the classroom, making expectations about student behavior clear, getting students to follow classroom rules, and calming a student who is disruptive or noisy. This indicator presents the percentages of lower secondary teachers in public schools who reported being able to manage student behaviors in the United States and across participating Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries or education systems. Then, focusing on teachers in the United States, this indicator examines whether these data vary by teacher and school characteristics.

In 2018, 80 percent or more of lower secondary teachers in public schools in the United States reported that they were able to manage various aspects of student behavior quite a bit or a lot.1 Specifically, 93 percent of teachers reported that they were able to make expectations about student behavior clear quite a bit or a lot, 88 percent reported that they were able to get students to follow classroom rules quite a bit or a lot, 85 percent reported that they were able to control disruptive behavior in the classroom quite a bit or a lot, and 80 percent reported that they were able to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy quite a bit or a lot (table 11.1). These percentages were not measurably different from the respective OECD averages.

The percentages of teachers who reported being able to manage student behaviors quite a bit or a lot varied by education system. For instance, among the 30 education systems2 reporting these data in 2018, the percentage of lower secondary teachers in public schools who reported being able to make expectations about student behavior clear quite a bit or a lot ranged from 60 percent in Japan to 98 percent in Colombia, Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary, and Denmark; the percentage was higher in the United States (93 percent) than in 11 education systems and lower in the United States than in 10 education systems (figure 11.1 and table 11.1).


Figure 11.1. Percentage of lower secondary teachers in public schools who reported being able to make expectations about student behavior clear “quite a bit” or “a lot,” by country or other education system: 2018

Figure 11.1. Percentage of lower secondary teachers in public  schools who reported being able to make expectations about student behavior  clear “quite a bit” or “a lot,” by country or other education system: 2018

1 Most of the education systems represent complete countries, but two represent subnational entities: Alberta is a province of Canada, and England is a component of the United Kingdom.
2 Estimates may include some teachers in private schools. The survey item about whether a school is publicly or privately managed was withdrawn at this country’s request because the classifications of private schools were not defined well enough to ensure non-misinterpretation of data.
3 Refers to the mean of the data values for all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries for which 2018 data are available. Each OECD country with available data contributes equally to the OECD average.
NOTE: In each participating country, the survey collected data from a nationally representative sample of teachers who taught at International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 2011 level 2. ISCED level 2 refers to lower secondary education, which corresponds to grades 7–9 in the United States. Unless otherwise noted, results are for only those lower secondary teachers who taught in public schools. Teachers were asked “In your teaching, to what extent can you do the following?” For each item, teachers could select one option: “not at all,” “to some extent,” “quite a bit,” or “a lot.” This figure combines the percentages for “quite a bit” and “a lot.” Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on the unrounded data.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), 2018.


Among lower secondary teachers in public schools in the United States, differences in the percentages of teachers who reported being able to manage student behaviors quite a bit or a lot were observed by teacher’s age in 2018. In the United States, higher percentages of teachers between 40 and 49 than of teachers under 30 reported that they were able to manage each aspect of student behavior quite a bit or a lot: control disruptive behavior in the classroom (89 vs. 82 percent), make expectations about student behavior clear (96 vs. 89 percent), get students to follow classroom rules (92 vs. 85 percent), and calm a student who is disruptive or noisy (84 vs. 72 percent; table 11.2). In addition, higher percentages of teachers between 40 and 49 than of teachers who were 50 or above reported that they were able to control disruptive behavior in the classroom quite a bit or a lot (89 vs. 80 percent), make expectations about student behavior clear quite a bit or a lot (96 vs. 91 percent), and calm a student who is disruptive or noisy quite a bit or a lot (84 vs. 77 percent).

Similarly, differences in the percentages of teachers who were able to manage student behaviors were observed by years of full- and part-time teaching experience in 2018. Among lower secondary teachers in public schools in the United States, lower percentages of teachers with less than 3 years of teaching experience than of teachers with more years of teaching experience, in general, reported being able to manage various aspects of student behavior quite a bit or a lot (figure 11.2 and table 11.2). For instance, 61 percent of teachers with less than 3 years of teaching experience reported that they were able to control disruptive behavior in the classroom quite a bit or a lot, compared with 86 to 87 percent of teachers with more experience. In addition, the percentage of teachers who reported being able to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy quite a bit or a lot was lower for teachers with 3 to 9 years of experience (79 percent) than for teachers with 10 to 20 years of experience (85 percent). There were no measurable differences by gender or highest level of formal education completed in the percentages of teachers who reported being able to manage student behaviors quite a bit or a lot.


Figure 11.2. Percentage of lower secondary teachers in public schools who reported being able to manage various aspects of student behavior “quite a bit” or “a lot,” by years of full- and part-time teaching experience: 2018

Figure 11.2. Percentage of lower secondary teachers in public  schools who reported being able to manage various aspects of student behavior  “quite a bit” or “a lot,” by years of full- and part-time teaching experience:  2018

NOTE: Data were based on teacher responses. The survey collected data from nationally representative samples of teachers at the lower secondary level (ISCED 2011 level 2, which corresponds to grades 7–9 in the United States). This figure includes only lower secondary teachers who taught in U.S. public schools. Teachers were asked “In your teaching, to what extent can you do the following?” For each item, teachers could select one option: “not at all,” “to some extent,” “quite a bit,” or “a lot.” This figure combines the percentages for “quite a bit” and “a lot.” Although rounded numbers are displayed, the figures are based on the unrounded data.
SOURCE: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS), 2018.


There were few differences by school characteristics in the percentages of lower secondary teachers in public schools who reported being able to manage student behaviors quite a bit or a lot in 2018. In the United States, the percentage of teachers who reported being able to make expectations about student behavior clear quite a bit or a lot was higher for those teaching at schools with 30 percent or less of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged homes (95 percent) than for teachers teaching at schools with more than 30 percent of students from these homes (92 percent; table 11.2).3 The same pattern was observed for calming a student who is disruptive or noisy. Some 85 percent of teachers at schools with 30 percent or less of students from socioeconomically disadvantaged homes reported being able to calm a student who is disruptive or noisy quite a bit or a lot, compared with 78 percent of teachers at schools with more than 30 percent of students from these homes. In general, there were no measurable differences by school enrollment or school location in the percentages of teachers who reported being able to manage student behaviors quite a bit or a lot.


The previous version of this indicator used data from the National Teacher and Principal Survey (NTPS) and the Schools and Staff Survey (SASS) to examine teachers’ reports on school conditions. This year’s indicator has been revised to instead highlight data on teacher self-efficacy in managing classroom behaviors, using the 2018 Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS). For more information: Tables 11.1 and 11.2 and http://www.oecd.org/education/talis/.


1 Teachers were asked “In your teaching, to what extent can you do the following?” For each item, teachers could select one option: “not at all,” “to some extent,” “quite a bit,” or “a lot.” This indicator combines the percentages for “quite a bit” and “a lot.”
2 Most of the education systems represent complete OECD countries, but two represent subnational entities: Alberta is a province of Canada, and England is a component of the United Kingdom.
3 In TALIS, principals were asked to estimate the broad percentage of lower secondary students in their school from socioeconomically disadvantaged homes. “Socioeconomically disadvantaged homes” were defined as “homes lacking the basic necessities or advantages of life, such as adequate housing, nutrition or medical care.”