The Teaching Professor

Characteristics of Good Teachers

Posted Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010 at 10:11 am by

Occasionally we need a reminder like this: based on a thorough literature review, Paul Ramsden, a noted researcher on teaching and learning, along with several co-authors offered this description of good teachers.

  • Good teachers are also good learners; for example, they learn through their own reading, by participating in a variety of professional-development
    activities, by listening to their students, by sharing ideas with their colleagues, and by reflecting on classroom interactions and students’
    achievements. Good teaching is therefore dynamic, reflective, and constantly evolving.
  • Good teachers display enthusiasm for their subject and a desire to share it with their students.
  • Good teachers know how to modify their teaching strategies according to the particular students, subject matter, and learning environment.
  • Good teachers encourage learning for understanding and are concerned with developing their students’ critical-thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and problem-approach behaviors.
  • Good teachers demonstrate an ability to transform and extend knowledge, rather than merely transmitting it; they draw on their knowledge of their subject, their knowledge of their learners, and their general pedagogical knowledge to transform the concepts of the discipline into terms that are understandable to their students.
  • Good teachers set clear goals, use valid and appropriate assessment methods, and provide high-quality feedback to their students.
  • Good teachers show respect for their students; they are interested in both their professional and their personal growth, encourage their independence, and sustain high expectations of them.

The description sets the bar high. But it so ably captures the essence of what we should aspire to be and do for our students.

Reference, Ramsden, P. D., Margetson, E. M. and Clarke, S. Recognizing and Rewarding Good Teaching.
Canberra: Australian Government Printing Services, 1995.

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7 Comments:

Teachers are learners. From my Christian education learning, I discovered that the Hebrew words for teach and learn are the same. So… teachers are intense learners.

Great characteristic list of teachers.

Great post! These are things I am always striving to do!

Sebastian Tharakan says:

This reminds me of a quotation of Literature Nobel Laureate: Rabindranath Tagore, who reminds us that a teacher should always be a student; always willing to learn and re-learn in his quotation which runs thus: ““A teacher can never truly teach unless he is still learning himself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flame. The teacher who has come to the end of his subject, who has no living traffic with knowledge, but merely repeats his lesson to his students can only load their minds not quicken them.” Dedicated teachers teach not just because it is their job; but more because, teaching is their passion, and it is this passion that impels them to constantly strive towards improvement and excellence.

1. Educators must think Teachering is “Fun”.
2. Must be of th type who sees the glass is half full. Must possess a positive mental attitude.
3. Must always been looking for that approach that opens the door to learning…it might be taking something that is occuring in the news that has public attention and tailoring it into the topic of the day.
4. Must not let the administrators get in the path of being honest with the student(s).
5. Must always speak the truth! Once credibilty is lost…it is lost!

All fine and good, but administrators don’t get that. I still see good teachers leaving because administrators put up all kinds of roadblocks to progress. Case in point, Building Information Modeling to hand drafting and 2D CADD. Guess who wins, not the future for students. Moving the old goats is more difficult than moving a mountain.

I disagree with the glass half full comment, understanding that it maybe the glass is to large or that the fluid is to small should also be evaluated.

I like to tell students, “All you need to get a good grade in this class is motivation. The bad news, my friends, is that if you don’t have it you may not even pass.” The same is true for college instructors. All you need to succeed is motivation. Motivation to become a subject matter expert. Motivation to put in the time to prepare. Motivation to develop your skills as an instructor. Motivation to care about your students’ success. The bad news, my friends, is that if you don’t have it you may not even pass.

Most of all, a good teacher should WANT to be a teacher. As a professional who always try to improve his/her status in order to be a better teacher hour by hour, day by day.