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Journal of No. 118


March 1st, 2012

The effect of good teachers @ 07:05 am

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Hahvahd & Columbia study on 'high value added' [ugh] teachers shows that "If an elementary school student has an excellent teacher even for a single year, it boosts their income by an average of about 2 percent per year. ... To put that in perspective, if we can find a way to raise gross domestic product (GDP) by 2 percent, you’re talking about nearly ending the Great Recession every year. By economic standards, it’s a huge deal."

Unfortunately, it's not easy to determine what makes a good teacher, except in retrospect.

“There’s been a lot of research on what exactly makes a good teacher,” Friedman says. “Frankly, it hasn’t been all that helpful. There’s one predictor of value-added, which is teacher experience. In the first couple of years, teachers’ value-added goes up quite a bit. Beside that, people who have more-advanced degrees, [have] higher SAT scores, graduated from a better college, are certified versus uncertified — none of these things are strong predictors of value-added.”
 
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From:rsheslin
Date:March 1st, 2012 11:34 am (UTC)
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I'd add enthusiasm and a love for connecting with kids as rather strong indicators, but that's not the sort of thing traditional bean counters like to measure.
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From:essentialsaltes
Date:March 1st, 2012 12:40 pm (UTC)
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Maybe not the bean counters, but surely psychologists could do studies on various personality traits, and see if there are correlations. Though unfortunately, personality is not easy to change or train... but maybe behaviors could be studied and taught in ed school, which might actually do some good for a change.
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From:rsheslin
Date:March 3rd, 2012 02:36 pm (UTC)
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It makes me think of something I read recently about the role of the lecture in education. For all the New Thinking that kids will only learn if the experience is engaging and immersive and student-driven, etc., the article argued that there is still a need for the lecture format. However, the purpose of the lecture is not to impart specific information, but to convey enthusiasm for and interest in the material.

Journal of No. 118