Teacher Quality as Defined byAdministrators, Teachers, and Students Holly Petrich The College of St. Scholastica December 14, 2012
Purpose• The focus of this research project is to define what a quality teacher is and see how a quality teacher affects student achievement and performance.
Interest in Topic• As I continue to search for a teaching job, it was my hope researching this topic to find out what administrators are looking for in a quality teacher. I then decided to expand into researching what teachers and students thought, as they are the other two important components in a school setting.
Research Questions• How do administrators, teachers, and students define teacher quality?• What characteristics contribute to an effective teacher?• How does teacher quality affect student achievement and performance?• What is being done to improve teacher quality?
Participants/Setting• Participants for the survey included administrators, teachers, and students in grades nine through twelve.• Participants were chosen at random and lived, worked, or went to school in the state of Minnesota.
Participants/ Setting• Surveys were created for each group.• Surveys were e-mailed to participants.• One hundred surveys were sent to each group and ten were returned from each group. (10% return rate)• An interview was conducted with one administrator, one teacher, and one student.
How do administrators, teachers, and students define teacher quality?
Results• Administrators and teachers ranked the top five teaching quality indicators the same: challenging students academically, student achievement, makes the course relevant, working with others to create curriculum, and explains things well.
Results• Students want a teacher who is prepared and organized, challenges students academically, has a lot of patience, uses technology on a regular basis, and gives extra help.
Results• Administrators and teachers seemed more focused on student results, while students tended to lean more towards emotional qualities of a teacher and want a teacher who makes class interesting.
Theory to Compare Results• Danielson’s Framework for Teaching consists of four domains, which consist of planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities.
What characteristics contribute to an effective teacher?
Administrative Perspective• The administrator in the interview responded quality teachers know their students and take a personal interest in their lives, goals, and dreams. Quality teachers also continually monitor how the class is responding to the activities in the class. They find ways that all students can respond to questions at the same time and make adjustments as they go depending on the progress of the students. This shows that administrators see the link between an effective teacher and student achievement/results.
Teacher Perspective• The teacher in the interview responded a quality teacher works to build relationships with each student and family, enjoys the content being taught and finds ways to make the subject exciting and relevant for students, and gives the class a chance to interact with the material and be creative. A quality teacher has high standards for all students, but works with each individual to customize the learning process according to each one’s needs. This shows that teachers strive to build relationships with their students, which is the same answer as the administrator gave for how a quality teacher helps all students learn.
Student Perspective• The best class I have ever taken was a math class in 8th grade. The teacher explained things well, showed us how to do something, and then had us to it ourselves. I like when things are explained well because it helps me learn more. It was nice to have a teacher who let us practice after they showed us how to do something, because that is how I learn best. I like watching someone else do something and then have the time to practice. This teacher also had a lot of patience and took the time to make sure that everyone understood what we were learning.
How does teacherquality affect student achievement and performance?
• . Education Week (2011) states that factors such as family background continue to predict a majority of the variation in student achievement, but scholars generally agree that teacher quality is probably the most important school-based factor affecting achievement.
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%Quality Teacher High Student 20% 40% Motivation Parent Involvement/Fa 30% mily Background Interesting 0% Content All Four 10% Choices Which do you think contributes most to student learning? Series1
What needs to be done to improve teacher quality?
Discussion• A hypothesis was that the majority of administrators and teachers believed that having your Master’s Degree makes you a better teacher. It was surprising that only half of the teachers surveyed believed that having your Master’s Degree makes you a better teacher and the majority of administrators believed that having your Master’s Degree detracts from hiring a new teacher.
Discussion• It was also surprising that using technology in the classroom on a regular basis did not rank very high with administrators or teachers. This is surprising because so many schools are pushing for new technologies in the classroom, such as iPads, iPods, and SmartBoards. Since many schools are now entirely online, it begs the question will teachers be ready for a shift from classroom teaching to online teaching if this trend continues?
Discussion• Both administrators and teachers agreed that experience teaching is more important than level of education. This shows that these groups believe that a quality teacher has learned more from what they have experienced in the classroom than what they have learned in books and in classes.
Discussion• One hundred percent of administrators believed that a quality teacher contributes most to student learning, while the majority of teachers attributed high student motivation to student learning.