Highland Learning and Teaching Toolkit

 Home | Inclusive & Enjoyable | Flexible  | Whole Learner | Active Citizens | Multiple Intelligence

| About this Toolkit | Parents | Practical Strategies SMT | Feedback | Site Map | Search

Link to Highland Council Website

Learning and Teaching should be Inclusive and Enjoyable:

What makes a good teacher?
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

books

 

Teachers are important and make a difference.   The quality of teaching is a crucial factor in promoting effective learning in schools.  Effective teaching requires individuals who are academically able and who care about the well-being of children and youth. 

Points Arising from Research

bullet

The most powerful single factor that enhances achievement is feedback – positive, encouraging, clearly targeted.

bullet

The setting of appropriate, specific and challenging goals is critical.

bullet

Effective teachers make purpose and content explicit, plan carefully, use systematic assessment and feedback, make connections, encourage children to think about thinking and model what they want the children to do.

Key Elements of What makes a good teacher?

Research detailing the direct effect of good teaching on pupils is difficult to assess, as relating ‘good teaching’ directly to higher attainment in pupils is almost impossible to verify.   However there are many attempts to analyse what constitutes a ‘good teacher’.   The following points are generally agreed to have an impact on pupils:

Subject Matter Knowledge

bullet

Highly knowledgeable and up to date in their subject area, but do not pretend to know it all, willing to learn from pupils

Teachers’ repertoires of best practices

bullet

Provide learner with clear tasks, goals, and requirement and inform them of progress made. A key skill in teaching is the ability to explain and describe things clearly

bullet

Encourage pupils to think, to make connections, to practise and reinforce, to learn from other learners and to feel that if they make mistakes they will not be ridiculed or treated negatively

bullet

Promote pupil participation through problem solving, questioning, discussion and “buzz group” activities

bullet

Treat all pupil questions seriously and do not intimidate or ridicule

bullet

Use regular informal assessment strategies including a range of types of questioning, observation and listening in

bullet

Understand that, since individuals learn at different rates and in different ways, we need to provide a variety of activities, tasks and pace of work, and monitor and evaluate children’s progress

bullet

Use breaks and activities to engage pupils’ thinking and interest

bullet

Turn to reading and research for fresh insights and relating these to their classroom and school

bullet

Work in a shared and collegial way with other staff

Personal qualities

bullet

Demonstrate an empathy with pupil thinking, anticipate misconceptions and allow pupils to develop understanding in a variety of ways

bullet

Observe pupils in class for signs that they are failing to keep up, are bored, or are not understanding

bullet

Show flexibility in responding to pupil needs

bullet

 Genuinely want pupils to learn, understand and develop critical thinking abilities, as well as master content or learn skills

bullet

Encourage pupils to take an active role in working through difficulties and take time to work through concepts in detail with those who have difficulties

bullet

Teachers who show enthusiasm for subject, professional area and teaching role motivate pupils as they look forward to coming to that class

bullet

Highly effective teachers are viewed as “easy going”, “relaxed”, with an “open” manner.   This brings a relaxed atmosphere to the classroom

bullet

Communicate effectively

bullet

Are resourceful and positive and adopt a problem-solving approach

bullet

Are creative and imaginative and have an open attitude to change

bullet

Are systematic and well organised, focused, determined and hardworking

bullet

Demonstrate empathy and fairness, are caring and approachable

Teacher Competences

The Standard for Chartered Teachers states that the quality of the educational service depends pre-eminently on the quality of our teachers.   The standard then list the following 4 components:

bullet

Professional values and personal commitments

bullet

Professional knowledge and understanding

bullet

Professional and personal attributes

bullet

Professional action
 

It also lists 4 central professional values and personal commitments which effective teachers should develop:
 

bullet

effectiveness in promoting learning in the classroom

bullet

critical self-evaluation and development

bullet

collaboration and influence

bullet

educational and social values

Reflection and Discussion

Do you reflect on your practice in the classroom?

As a result of this reflection do you alter your approach within your classroom?

How much do you share good practice with colleagues?
 

Some Activities Relating To the Issue of What makes a good teacher?

Key element

Objective

Action

 

Some examples and suggestions

Subject Matter Knowledge

Highly knowledgeable and up to date in their subject area, but do not pretend to know it all, willing to learn from pupils

Pupils may be - very aware of recent developments – could you involve them in producing/researching the latest information for topics?

Teachers’ repertoire of best practice

Use regular informal assessment strategies including a range of types of questioning, observation and listening in.

Look closely at formative assessment in your class. (See Toolkit section on Formative Assessment)

Personal qualities

Observe pupils in class for signs that they are failing to keep up, are bored, or not understanding.  Show flexibility in responding to pupil needs.

Use Traffic Lights. Green means confident about understanding, orange means unsure and red means not understanding. Pupils are challenged with support to grade themselves

Teacher competencies

Effective teachers should develop collaboration and influence

Prepare an action plan drawing on your strengths and tackle any of the weaknesses that you have identified.  Discuss this with a trusted colleague to get feedback on your analysis.

Ethos within the classroom

There is a high level of respect, interest in and acceptance of the pupils

Focus on reward and encouragement not on sanction and punishment.

Consultation with pupils in relation to own goals and personal aspirations.

Selected References


Further Reading

Aspy D. & Roebuck F. (1977) Kids Don’t Learn from People They Don’t Like, Ameherst, Mass: Human Resource Development Press

Hayes, L.(2000) Am I Teaching Well ? Learning Matters

Smith, A. & Call, N.(1999) The ALPS Approach Accelerated Learning in the Primary School, Network Educational Press

Smith, A. & Call, N. (2003) The ALPS Approach Resource Book, Network Educational Press

Smith, A. (2001) Accelerated Learning in Practice, Network Educational Press
 

  
Websites

www.learntolearn.ac.uk

www.aaia.org.uk/assessment/assessment.asp
 


webmaster
 

Last updated 20/08/2010
© Highland Council Education, Culture and Sport Service

Highland Schools Virtual Library