Monday, December 13, 2010

What makes a good teacher?

 It took $45 million dollars from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to figure out what makes a successful teacher, according to last week's New York Times article What Works in the Classroom?  Ask the Students by Sam Dillon. What did they do? They took the innovative approach of asking students.

What did this boatload of money find out about good teachers?
Teachers whose students described them as skillful at maintaining classroom order, at focusing their instruction and at helping their charges learn from their mistakes are often the same teachers whose students learn the most in the course of a year, as measured by gains on standardized test scores, according to a progress report on the research.
What did they find out about poor teachers?
One notable early finding, Ms. Phillips said, is that teachers who incessantly drill their students to prepare for standardized tests tend to have lower value-added learning gains than those who simply work their way methodically through the key concepts of literacy and mathematics.
I am amazed at the amount of money and effort that has been spent  trying to get teachers to drill their students in order to increase test scores and pass state tests. Now they are spending more money and finding out this isn't such a great policy after all. Maybe one day they will even pay a bunch more millions for another study and decide to ask teachers about good teaching! I am sure teachers would tell you for free what works and what doesn't work.

1 comment:

zeeshan said...

Yes !Teachers are the best source to convay knowledge to our children.We should give respect to the teacher in all level.
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