What makes great teaching?

When I was searching for material from staff CPD earlier this term I came across this report from 2014 that reviews underpinning research on teaching and learning. It is well worth a read for all teachers as it is accessible and something to return to again and again. The report is linked to on the image. I have put below some of my key notes.

Great teaching is defined as that which leads to improved student progress. Effective teaching which leads to improved student achievement using outcomes that matter to their future success.

The six components of great teaching:

  1. (Pedagogical) content knowledge – teachers must have deep knowledge of the subjects they teacher, and understand the ways that students think about the content.
  2. Quality of Instruction – effective questioning and use of assessment. Specific practices, like reviewing previous learning, providing model responses, given adequate time to embed skills, and progressively introducing new learning.
  3. Classroom climate – quality of interactions between student and teachers; and teacher expectations. Attributing student success to effort rather than ability. Valuing resilience to failure (grit).
  4. Classroom management – making efficient use of lesson time, coordinate resources and space, and manage student’s behaviour.
  5. Teacher Beliefs – why teachers adopt particular practices, their theories about what learning is and their conceptual models of the nature and role of teaching in the learning process.
  6. Professional Behaviours – reflection on and development professional practice, participating in professional development and communicating with parents.

Six principles of teacher feedback – sustained professional learning is most likely to result when:

  1. The focus is kept clearly on improving student outcomes.
  2. Feedback is related to clear, specific and challenging goals for the recipient;
  3. Attention is on the learning rather than on the person or comparisons with others;
  4. Teachers are encouraged to be continual independent learners;
  5. Feedback is mediated by a mentor in an environment of trust and support;
  6. An environment of professional learning is support is promoted by the school’s leadership.

Rosenshein’s Principles of Instruction

  1. Begin a lesson with a short review of previous learning.
  2. Present new material in small steps, with student practice after each step.
  3. Ask a large number of questions and check the response of all students.
  4. Provide models for problem solving and worked examples.
  5. Guide student practice.
  6. Check for student understanding.
  7. Obtain a high success rate.
  8. Provide scaffolds for difficult tasks.
  9. Require and monitor independent practice.
  10. Engage students in weekly and monthly review.