The extent to which students' and teachers' perceptions agree about excellent teachers has implications for educational philosophy, training, and leadership practices. Teacher excellence depends teachers are rarely sought. Experts write about what should be taught, how it should be taught, but those who are being taught have little voice. Learning what traits and practices exemplify excellent teachers would enable us to capitalize on those traits and train teachers to use those practices.
The intent of this study was to learn what teacher excellence was like for students and teachers. From those who have experienced teacher excellence from both sides of the desk, particular characteristics and practices were identified as important or essential.
This study employed interviews of high school seniors and teachers. Questions were related to a district's contract appendix, literature about best practices, career interest and personality inventories, and from discussions with students and teachers. Fourteen student interviews and fourteen teacher interviews were transcribed. Ten of each category were distributed to a team of coders, by the researcher. Using the Consensual Qualitative Research method, coders and researcher placed participants' responses in domains, categorized them, and with an auditor's guidance, searched for those that were typical and those that were variant. Discarded interviews were to be replaced by other interviews until stability occurred. The team sought patterns among the participants' responses. Finally, the researcher analyzed the data and drew and reported conclusions.
Students described excellent teachers who connected with their students on a social, emotional level. Examples of student's responses were instances of a teacher approaching a student to ask if the student needed assistance, opening classrooms at non-instructional times to provide a welcome setting in which to relax until the next class, visiting the student at his workplace, and attending students' performances.
Teachers described the excellent teacher's relationship with students as a teacher who might attend performance events, but might also insist the student come in for extra help or encourage the student to put forth greater effort. The emphasis the teachers placed on rapport building between teacher and student was based more on academic than on emotional support. The role that teachers were described by students as performing was that of nurturer or counselor, whereas the role the teachers' description described was that of facilitator and coach.
|Commitee:||Ayers, Richard, Moore-West, Margaret|
|School:||Franklin Pierce University|
|School Location:||United States -- New Hampshire|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Educational psychology|
|Keywords:||Educational leadership, Student perceptions, Teacher excellence|
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