If you're searching for What is Effective Teaching? to help with your children's homework, to use as a website resource for your classroom, or to use in your lesson plan for your students, the information below can help.
Effective teaching can be seen as teaching that successfully achieves the learning objectives by the pupils as identified by the teacher. In this way there are essentially two simple elements to effective teaching:
- The teacher must have a clear idea of what learning is to be nurtured
- The teacher sets up and provides a learning experience that enables this to happen.
There are five attributes that have been identified as important factors in the classroom in relation to effective teaching. The strength of each attribute determines how receptive pupils are to learning and has been identified in research as a key cause of success in the classroom. The five attributes are:
- Personality and will
- Sympathy and tact
- A sense of humour
Studies, which attempt to relate these teaching attributes to educational outcomes, have sometimes referred to them as ‘black-box’ research. The point of which is that such research on effective teaching in the past has completely ignored what actually happened in the classroom. Instead, studies simply looked at the input characteristics such as attributes of the teacher and pupils, looked at the output such as the examination results and then tried to relate the two.
However, more recent research on effective teaching has focused on activities in the classroom. In particular, research has looked at the interaction between the teacher and pupils to which these personality attributes help. As a result, there is a good understanding regarding the basic thinking of effective teaching within which we can identify three main classes of variables.
Context variables refer to all the characteristics of the context of the learning activity. Such characteristics can include:
- The teacher: Age, experience, social class, training personality
- The pupil: Age ability, values, personality, social class
- Class characteristics: Size, range of ability, social class mix
- Subject characteristics: Subject matter, level of difficulty, general interest
- School characteristics: Size, building facilities, ethos, disciplinary policy, proportion of high-ability intake
- Community characteristics: Affluence, population density, geographical location
- Characteristics of the occasion: Time of day, preceding lesson, weather, period of academic year
Process variables refer to what actually happens in the classroom. The variables look at the perceptions, strategies and behavior of the teacher and the pupils as well as the characteristics of the learning tasks and activities themselves and how these interact with each other. These can include:
- Teacher’s enthusiasm
- Clarity of explanations
- Use of questions
- Use of praise and criticism
- Management strategy
- Disciplinary techniques
- Classroom climate
- Organisation of the lesson
- Suitability of learning tasks
- Pupils’ strategies for learning
Product variables refer to the educational outcomes identified and desired by teachers, which form the basis of teacher lesson planning. They also refer to the criteria teachers use to assess the effectiveness of a lesson. The most important educational outcomes for pupils as identified by teachers are:
- Increased knowledge and skills
- Increased interest in the subject or topic
- Increased intellectual motivation
- Increased academic self-confidence and self –esteem
- Increased autonomy
- Increased social development.
Many of these outcomes can be measured by tests, but others are often based on subjective form of assessment, such as the teacher’s opinion. Unfortunately such methods can often be problematic and must be treated with caution.
Below you will find additional resources and facts for kids related to the article "What is Effective Teaching?".