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What makes great teaching?

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Presentation on theme: "What makes great teaching?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What makes great teaching?
Robert Coe ResearchED Research Leads Network Day, 13 December 2014


3 1. Pedagogy

4 Dimensions of great teaching
(Pedagogical) content knowledge Quality of instruction Classroom management / behaviour / control Classroom climate / relationships / expectations Beliefs (theory) about subject, learning & teaching Wider professional elements: collegiality, PD, stakeholder relationships Coe, R., Aloisi, C., Higgins, S. and Elliot Major, L. (2014) ‘What makes great teaching? Review of the underpinning research’. Sutton Trust, October

5 1. We do that already (don’t we?)
Reviewing previous learning Setting high expectations Using higher-order questions Giving feedback to learners Having deep subject knowledge Understanding student misconceptions Managing time and resources Building relationships of trust and challenge Dealing with disruption

6 Self-evaluation and feedback
High expectations Ask students: “How often is Mr X satisfied with your work?” “When you agree a target, do you believe you will achieve it? Do you think your teacher believes you can achieve it?” Deep subject knowledge Could you sit the exam (in half the time and get full marks)? Managing time and resources An observer records: What fraction of the lesson do students spend (apparently) thinking hard about the material to be learnt?

7 2. Do we always do that? Challenging students to identify the reason why an activity is taking place in the lesson Asking a large number of questions and checking the responses of all students Raising different types of questions (i.e., process and product) at appropriate difficulty level Giving time for students to respond to questions Spacing-out study or practice on a given topic, with gaps in between for forgetting Making students take tests or generate answers, even before they have been taught the material Engaging students in weekly and monthly review

8 3. We don’t do that (hopefully)
Use praise lavishly Allow learners to discover key ideas for themselves Group learners by ability Encourage re-reading and highlighting to memorise key ideas Address issues of confidence and low aspirations before you try to teach content Present information to learners in their preferred learning style Ensure learners are always active, rather than listening passively, if you want them to remember

9 Just a check-list of techniques?
No! Great teaching involves selecting, integrating, orchestrating, adapting, monitoring, responding, etc, and depends on context, history, personalities, relationships, etc, But without the skills, a teacher’s choices are more limited Developing these skills & techniques takes dedicated, extended practice, with feedback

10 2. Other claims

11 Methods of identifying effectiveness
classroom observations by peers, school leaders or external evaluators ‘value-added’ models (assessing gains in student achievement) student ratings headteacher judgement teacher self-reports analysis of classroom artefacts and teacher portfolios

12 Sustained professional learning is most likely to result when:
the focus is kept clearly on improving student outcomes; feedback is related to clear, specific and challenging goals for the recipient; attention is on the learning rather than to the person or to comparisons with others; teachers are encouraged to be continual independent learners; feedback is mediated by a mentor in an environment of trust and support; an environment of professional learning and support is promoted by the school’s leadership Coe, R., Aloisi, C., Higgins, S. and Elliot Major, L. (2014) ‘What makes great teaching? Review of the underpinning research’. Sutton Trust, October

13 Beware these traps Overconfidence about knowledge of what is effective
Focus on teaching rather than learning Thinking that we are doing it already Overconfidence in assessments (even if formative) of teaching quality Thinking that if we assess teaching we must attach consequences to that (cf ‘assessment for learning’)

14 3. Tools

15 Pupil survey (from Tripod)
Student behavior in this class is under control. I hate the way that students behave in this class. Student behavior in this class makes the teacher angry. Student behavior in this class is a problem. My classmates behave the way my teacher wants them to. Students in this class treat the teacher with respect. Our class stays busy and doesn't waste time. See

16 Time on task observation tool
Next observation 1.2s Jimmy Bone-Idle On task Off task Not clear ‘On task’ = thinking hard about what they are supposed to be learning

17 Measuring quality of instruction
Requires ‘high inference’ judgements May be no alternative to extensive training (eg CLASS, Danielson FFT) Worth trying: Specify skills and context (eg Y9 algebra, questioning to check understanding) Peer review of video excerpts Rating using ACJ (Adaptive Comparative Judgement)

18 Tools/strategies must …
Challenge the ‘we think we do that already’ trap Keep the main thing the main thing: student outcomes Build in impact evaluation: Does using it improve outcomes? (Cannot work without background of good assessment of student outcomes)

19 Practical toolkit ideas …
Guide to help teachers to focus on what really matters Research-based elements of effectiveness: ‘what works and why’ Tools to help teachers to see progress against immediate goal Eg tool for tracking student time on task, quality of questioning, high expectations Assessments to keep longer-term goals in view (and evaluate against them)

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