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Methods of Teaching

Handout #1, Unit 1


Summary of Conclusions from Teacher Effectiveness Research
Early in the 1970s, educational researchers interested in
improving teachers performance and students learning in
school began studying the relationship between teachers
actions in the classroom and students scores on school tests.
These researchers identified certain teacher actions that have
a positive effect on students school test scores. This research
is called teacher effectiveness research
More recently, researchers have identified teachers actions
that not only result in satisfactory test scores but also have a
positive effect on school attendance, promotion to the next
grade on time, graduation on time, cooperative behavior in
school, and students beliefs that they can learn in school.
While the teacher effectiveness research doesnt tell us all
we need to know about effective teachers and satisfactory
learning for all students in school ,it does direct our attention
to teacher actions that are associated with students test
scores that are satisfactory. Conclusions from the many
studies of teachers actions in the classroom can be
summarized in different ways. Two summaries are provided
here.
Adapted from Goe, L., Bell, C., & Little, O. (2008). Approaches
to evaluating teacher effectiveness: A research synthesis.
National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality.
Washington, DC.
Effective teachers believe their students are capable of
learning and they can
teach them successfully. If students do not learn from a
lesson, these teachers teach it again using a different method
and, perhaps, different materials.
Effective teachers organize life in the classroom so that time is
used for learning and students are not sitting at their desks
with nothing to do or roaming around the classroom.

Effective teachers move through the curriculum at a pace that


challenges students to keep up but in relatively small steps to
minimize frustration and allow continuous progress.
Effective teachers are active teachers in that they demonstrate
skills, explain concepts, design problems for students to solve
and review regularly. They emphasize understanding and
application of knowledge. They provide ample
-2opportunity for practice. They encourage students to take
personal responsibility for learning. They move around the
classroom continuously to maintain contact with students.

Adapted from Good, T. L., & Brophy, J. E. (2008). Looking in


Classrooms (10th Ed.). Boston: Pearson
Effective teachers respect young peoples minds and have high
expectations for all students.
Effective teachers use many methods and instructional
resources to plan and structure engaging learning
opportunities; monitor student progress continuously; adapt
instruction based on assessment data; and evaluate learning
using multiple sources of evidence.
Effective teachers contribute to the development of students
who value diversity and civility in interactions with other
people.
Effective teachers collaborate with parents, other teachers,
principals, and educational professionals to promote student
learning.
Also adapted from Good and Brophy (2008)
Effective teachers
set goals for instruction that are at a just manageable level of
difficulty for students
build learning in small steps

connect new concepts to knowledge students have already


acquired
monitor student work and provide feedback
ask good questions
achieve appropriate pacing for instruction
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You now have three lists of teachers actions in classes where
students earn high scores on school tests and graduate from
secondary school. Read the lists again and create one list that
includes all of the actions but does not repeat any action.
Using the form given to you by your teacher, create a checklist
that you can use when you observe a teacher in a classroom.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE TO STUDENTS
There are two important limitations to this research from your
perspective. First, it was conducted in schools in western, non Islamic
countries. There is a reason to share it with you, though. Most of the
conclusions are consistent with contemporary
research on learning that are believed to be universal to all human
learning.
Second, all of this research uses statistics the produce correlations.
You will learn, if you dont already know that correlations simply tell us
that two events occur together. The statistic doesnt tell us that one
event is causing the other to occur.
So, we know that students in classrooms where teachers engage in
these actions earn higher test scores than do students in classrooms
where teachers do not engage in these actions. We do not know
which, if any, of these actions cause higher test scores.
As indicated earlier, findings from this research are consistent with
evidence about some universal principles of learning. If you
understand that the teacher actions summarized here are not causal
facts, you can use the research with confidence, modifying it, as
indicated for Pakistan.