SUMMARY: Indicators of quality teaching

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What makes a quality teacher?

Alton-Lee, Adrienne. (2003). Quality teaching for diverse students in schooling: Best evidence synthesis. Ministry of Education: Wellington. 

The synthesis of the best evidence-based research identified 10 characteristics of quality teaching. These characteristics help teachers to manage the complex learning needs of their diverse students: the central professional challenge for teachers.

The term ‘diversity’ covers a wide range of attributes, including: ethnicity, socio-economic background, home language, gender, special needs, disability and giftedness. Teachers need to be responsive to these attributes in order to support and challenge their students appropriately.

1.  Quality teaching is focused on student achievement (including social outcomes) and facilitates high standards of student outcomes for heterogenous groups of students.

2. Pedagogical practices enable classes and other learning grouping to work as caring, inclusive, and cohesive learning communities.

3. Effective links are created between school and other cultural contexts in which students are socialised, to facilitate learning.

4. Quality teaching is responsive to student learning processes.

5. Opportunity to learn is effective and sufficient.

6. Multiple task contexts support learning cycles.

7. Curriculum goals, resources including ICT usage, task design, teaching and school practices are effectively aligned.

8. Pedagogy scaffolds and provides appropriate feedback on students’ task engagement.

9. Pedagogy promotes learning orientations, student self-regulation, metacognitive strategies and thoughtful student discourse.

10. Teachers and students engage constructively in goal-orientated assessment.

These 10 characteristics can also be found in, for example, the NZ Curriculum. Helping teachers with the ‘art of teaching’.

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