Last Friday, the Sydney Morning Herald published the results of a University of New England Study claiming ‘teacher effect’ only plays a minor role in student learning.
In response, I refer again to John Hattie’s book Visible Learning in which he claims: ‘ what teachers do matters’. As educators, we should no longer be satisfied with simply reaching minimum standards or getting over the line. (Read Adele Horin’s powerful comments from 25/7/09 on teacher quality)
As Hattie says, rather than asking ‘What works?’ we should be asking ‘What works best?’
We do know there is a growing body of research showing that excellent teachers positively influence student learning outcomes. Why? Because expert teachers don’t simply teach: they recognise when learning isn’t happening, then employ and monitor personalised strategies that as Hattie says ‘work best’ for each learner.
My views on teacher quality in last Friday’s Sydney Morning Herald is really a call to action. This is the time to step-up to the demands of the profession by addressing the core issues preventing us from making quantum leaps not just superficial steps.