Teacher Effectiveness

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In the initial perceptions report I selected confidence and patience as the personal attributes most relevant to effective teaching, and thorough subject knowledge and outlining clear and consistent expectations as the two most important classroom strategies to overall effective teaching. Various research studies into effective teaching have found that personal attributes, teaching and learning strategies and classroom management all play a significant role in overall teacher effectiveness. It has been found that teachers who exhibit socially just personal attributes such as care, compassion and empathy for all students are most effective. Teachers who are ‘active' in employing a range of teaching and learning strategies that are heavily based on student-teacher and student-student interaction are also found to be effective. In terms of classroom management, effective teachers are able to outline and stick to a clear set of high expectations for all students. These findings correlate with my initial perceptions to carrying degrees. While all the initial perceptions bear some relevance, generally speaking, factors and influences that make up effective teaching involve a much broader set of criteria than just patience, confidence, subject knowledge and expectations.

The personal attributes of teachers is shown to be a significant factor in overall teacher effectiveness in a number of studies. Generally speaking, teachers who are socially just and have a genuine concern for all students have been found to be the most effective. This is a much broader conception of personal attributes than what was identified in the initial perceptions of teacher effectiveness, that of confidence and patience. The keen ambition to care for, respond to and develop the talents of all students is repeatedly referred to in studies as being a significant determinant of overall teacher effectiveness (Dinham, 2004, OECD, 1994, Batten, 1993). Such an ambition requires a number of personal attributes, one of which would include patience. In all teaching frameworks, teachers will inevitably face a range of abilities, skills and personalities. If teachers are genuinely committed to caring for and developing all students equally they will inevitably require patience each in terms of the rate at which students understand the concepts and information being presented to them as well as the manner in which students act and respond to both them personally and to the work they are presented with. However, while patience is a definite requirement in the care for all students, there is a broader set of attributes that are needed to achieve this ambition. Teachers who exhibit socially just attributes such as honesty, empathy and compassion are more likely to genuinely care for and develop all students, thereby making them more effective (Dinham, 2004). Significantly, these attributes will also play a significant role in providing a safe learning environment for all students, one of the three central components of the Quality Teaching Framework (NSW Quality Teaching Framework).

Teachers who are reflective, willing and able to adjust and improve and to set an example of moral conduct for their students have also been found to be effective (OECD, 1994). A willingness and ability to reflect and adjust, as well as to provide a moral example for students depends significantly on the personal attributes of the teacher. Confidence is relevant to these attributes as in order for the process of self reflection and moral modelling to be successful, teachers must first be confident enough to engage in the process. For example, if a teacher does not possess confidence in their own moral beliefs and reasoning, they will be unable to model them for their students in any effective manner. However reflection and moral conduct requires more that just confidence. Ultimately it requires outward looking behaviour in an attempt to achieve positive relationships and a culture for...
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