What makes an effective teacher? | Teachers' Essay

While Shulman's conceptualisation of teacher subject knowledge is not universally accepted, evidence seems to be accumulating regarding the importance of subject knowledge in effective teaching. Borko et al (1988), for example, found that student teachers with strong subject knowledge tended to plan lessons in less detail and were more responsive to the needs of particular groups of pupils. Grossman, Wilson & Shulman (1989) found that student teachers with specialist knowledge tended to teach it in a way which encouraged children to develop complex conceptual structures of their own. Students without this knowledge tended simply to 'deliver' the content prescribed, relying more heavily on the abilities of children to memorise it. Bennett's research (e.g. Bennett & Turner-Bissett, 1993) into student teacher development found that students with specialist knowledge in Music and Science were significantly more able to engage their pupils at a conceptual level in these subjects than were students without these specialisms, although the same was not true of students with specialist knowledge in mathematics.

What does it mean to be an effective teacher? Essay - …

What Does It Mean To Be An Effective Teacher What makes an Effective Teacher

What Makes an Effective Teacher

In this chapter we have presented details about our findings about teachers' content knowledge in literacy. We have been concerned to point out the complexity of this issue. As far as we know, this is the first research study to attempt such an exploration of literacy subject knowledge and, perhaps unsurprisingly, our findings do not altogether support the hypotheses we generated in this area. In particular, we failed to find any real separation in effective teachers between content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge in literacy. It seems to us that the effective teachers of literacy 'know' their subject in quite a special way which itself has many implications for initial training and continuing professional development.

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Although the effective teachers did not appear to use a wider variety of terms about language than the validation sample in an individual lesson, they did use them differently. The effective teachers not only defined terms that they used but offered more examples of the item. They often collected examples and discussed the function of the word before offering a definition. They chose a variety of examples which illustrated the definition, rather than repeating formulaic definitions (such as "a verb is a doing word") and asked children to supply examples of their own. The effective teachers were also observed to ask the children to explain terms to them at a number of points in the session, whereas the teachers in the validation sample did not do this in most cases. It appeared that the effective teachers had a greater depth of knowledge than the validation teachers and were able to use a variety of representations of particular ideas.

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Effective teachers have been shown to invite student participation and decision making, ..

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In addition to researching the characteristics of effective teachers, we also made a similar study of student and newly qualified teachers of literacy. Our hypothesis was that teachers of literacy would not have become effective solely through possessing well-developed subject knowledge; nor would they have become effective only by acquiring extensive experience of teaching literacy in primary schools. Instead, a synthesis of particular aspects of their knowledge, training and teaching experience would support or constrain the development of effectiveness. Thus one of our key research questions asked what aspects of initial training appeared to support these novices in becoming effective at teaching literacy. We went about answering the question by gathering evidence in the following ways:

A person who has enough knowledge about a particular topic may teach; however the question remains, does this make them an effective teacher

What does it mean to be an effective teacher

Some of the effective teachers appeared to monitor the whole class by walking around looking at work in progress and questioning individual pupils or groups. This, however, was a minority activity more often seen in the validation sample lessons at KS2. In general the effective teachers worked particularly closely with one group of children, probing, questioning and supporting, and made intermittent "rounds" of the class to observe the activities of the children. The "conclusions" of the lessons already described, in which children read out or discussed samples of work, also offered teachers an opportunity to monitor progress.

Being an effective primary school teacher

but this does not mean that lessons have ..

Students are likely to build stronger relations with teachers who are friendly and supportive and will show more interest in courses taught by these teachers. Teachers that spend more time interacting and working directly with students are perceived as supportive and effective teachers. Effective teachers have been shown to invite student participation and decision making, allow humor into their classroom, and demonstrate a willingness to play.