A CFBT Education Trust Review of evidence seeks to define teachers’s effectiveness and what makes an effective teacher .
Working with partners including the Oxford University Department of Education, the Centre for Equity in Education at the University of Manchester, the University of Glasgow, the University of Nottingham and the Hong Kong Institute of Education, CfBT Education Trust commissioned a series of reviews of international literature covering best practice in school improvement .
The idea that schools can impact positively on student outcomes is a crucial driver in the rise of interest in school improvement research and practice.
These reviews highlight international examples of best practice in order to effect change and identify how effective school improvement manifests itself. They form useful tools for schools and school leaders, but also act as lessons for policy makers in terms of what works around the world. Evidence led policy and practice is now high on the political agenda, as is trying to ensure that Heads and classroom teachers make the best use of available evidence to drive improvements in student outcomes.
One of the reviews is concerned with how to define a teacher’s effectiveness and what makes an effective teacher. It draws out implications for policymakers in education and for improving classroom practice.Teacher effectiveness is generally referred to in terms of a focus on student outcomes and the teacher behaviours and classroom processes that promote better student outcomes.
This review, based upon research evidence, suggests that effective teachers:
are clear about instructional goals
are knowledgeable about curriculum content and the strategies for teaching it
communicate to their students what is expected of them, and why
make expert use of existing instructional materials in order to devote more time to practices that enrich and clarify the content
are knowledgeable about their students, adapting instruction to their needs and anticipating misconceptions in their existing knowledge
teach students meta-cognitive strategies and give them opportunities to master them
address higher- as well as lower-level cognitive objectives
monitor students’ understanding by offering regular appropriate feedback
integrate their instruction with that in other subject areas
accept responsibility for student outcomes.
The review shows that in order to achieve good teaching, good subject knowledge is a prerequisite.
Also, the skilful use of well-chosen questions to engage and challenge learners, and to consolidate understanding, is an important feature, as is the effective use of assessment for learning.