What makes effective teaching?

Here we explore some methods on how to create a more efficient classroom.

What makes effective teaching

Effective teaching methods

Conficius the Chinese philosopher once said “我听见我忘记; 我看见我记住; 我做我了解” and unless you can read Chinese that means “I hear and I forget; I see and I remember; I do and I understand”. This quote is almost identical to the apparent quote of Benjamin Franklin who said, “Tell me and I forget.” , “Teach me and I remember.” , “Involve me and I understand. Both of these quotes are about how to approach teaching in an effective way. These quotes are obviously from hundreds of decades ago, SO how far have we come? What have we learned about educating students in an efficient way?

Here’s what we understand. To start with we really have to acknowledge that teaching is a highly intricate skill. It involves a deep intense understanding of the subject matter combined with the ability to explain complex issues in a simplistic and easy to understand way. Not only that it needs an additional understanding of psychology, pedagogy with a mix of management skills. The ability to get students to transition between states of calmness and focus to excitement and enthusiasm is no easy feat to accomplish. 

What makes effective teaching

Rob Coe – Professor at Durham University, UK reported that widely used methods such as;

  • Grouping students by academic ability
  • Giving unearned praise
  • The belief that students can detect complex issues independently 

They have no direct impact on their academic performance in general. Instead, he suggests that masters in the field of teaching adapt their expectations and optimize lesson time efficiently. Aside from this they importantly unite high-quality schooling with pedagogical content knowledge. 

They do not teach a specific subject as such, they provide their pupils with the best learning environment and opportunities to find out about learning themselves. Somebody once told me we have to treat and train teachers like brain surgeons because in reality they also function on changing the human brain. Like any aspiring professional working in their field, where mistakes are made, feedback and advice are provided to improve and progress. 

You’ll see similar techniques present in a lot of successful schools, teaching is presented as a craft rather than abstract science. 

A teacher plants the seeds of knowledge, sprinkles them with love, and patiently nurtures their growth to produce tomorrow's dreams

The graduate school Sposato is famous for creating effective teachers because of their feedback program and time spent improving teaching techniques. Teachers who are frequently in the classroom need regular professional feedback on their work.

Roland Fryer of Harvard University conducted a large scale study in which he found that teachers who receive detailed and astute instruction combined with specific and intricate feedback are the teachers who improve the most. Other ideas that are gaining traction are Students/Teacher feedback surveys where teachers will ask the students for ways in which they believe the lesson would be taught more efficiently to them.

Doug Lemov who founded Uncommon schools and just so happens to be the author of Teach Like A Champion identifies a wide variety of methods in which teachers can create a comfortable environment, acknowledging the existence of students in a kind and friendly manner while maintaining respect. To make the most of your time in the classroom you have to engage your students, create an atmosphere of interest and excitement. This can be done through storytelling techniques, and engaging activities. Methods that involve interaction and involvement are the ones that spark creativity and imagination.

A paper published by Stanford at 2009 showed that leadership makes a big difference too.,At low performing schools, principles hardly ever appear in the classrooms but instead spend most of their time dealing with paperwork and finance.

Schools with higher-performing students often have principals that get from the office and spend a great deal of time in the classrooms supervising and developing the teachers. Together they can make a difference in their student’s life.

Economist Raj Chetty conducted a case study in which he and his team analyzed date from over 2 million students in the US combined with 18 million test results. The hypothesis is that instructors who possess a high level of teaching ability teaching to the test requirements have a big impact. He claims that on average having such a teacher in your class can raise the student’s score and cumulative income (lifetime) by 14,000 dollars.

When it comes to teaching kindergarten he has an alternative hypothesis he empathizes that great kindergarten teachers help develop core social skills, discipline, and personality. Maybe it won’t directly affect the results at such a young age so initially but years later those skills learned at such a young age begin to emerge and become useful during their more senior school years and even advancing into their careers which intern helps them find meaningful and higher paid jobs.

best teaching

A Professor called Eric Hanushek at Stanford University conducted a study that computer the effect of effective teaching. His results suggested that the very top level teachers can progress students learning by a whopping additional 50% per year. On the flip side, teachers who have suffered from poor training can result in HALF the average expected. 

If you take both of these results into consideration. This means that within a 10-year frame of learning at school you can have a potential 15 years of learning or a mere 5 years! What an incredible difference which again mainly disadvantages children from lower-income families who cannot afford to learn at these schools. 

“Good teaching is one-fourth preparation and three-fourths pure theatre” Gail Godwin, American Novelist. 

My suggestion, if you want to see the pinnacle of education and effectiveness, check out the following;

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