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Teacher Effectiveness

Discussion in 'Education news' started by Shedman, Dec 8, 2019.

  1. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter


    Teacher effectiveness is the most important driving force behind pupils’ success, but there is limited evidence on how to improve it, a leading academic has concluded.

    In a blog post published today, Simon Burgess, a professor of economics at the University of Bristol, explains that while teacher effectiveness is highly important for pupils’ outcomes, there is little good evidence on how to improve teachers’ skills.

    So we have a professor of ECONOMICS spouting forth on teacher effectiveness and how to improve teachers skills. One must ask what is his particular expertise in education or does he think his opinion carries extra weight because he specialises in another subject?
    agathamorse and sbkrobson like this.
  2. Lalad

    Lalad Star commenter

    As a primary school teacher, my teaching skills might be improved if I didn't have to spend so much time having to be a substitute parent, social worker, therapist, psychologist, mediator and / or GP to children suffering from inadequate parenting, dire home circumstances, undiagnosed mental health conditions, chronic anxiety and depression, low self-esteem, an inability to relate to other children or to cope with normal social interaction with others, including arguing and falling out, and /or unacceptable behaviour; not to mention making copious notes of every single playground incident, phoning parents to justify decisions taken and then dealing with the inevitable email from the parent from hell for whom no sanction will ever be permissible because his or her child is perfect and can do no wrong.

    Oh, and let's not forget, on top of this, the time spent planning differentiated activities for the GD, ARE, WT, WWT and children with individual learning plans, interventions, triple marking in different coloured pens, entering meaningless data into online systems that merely confirm what we already know, having numerous, pointless meetings to monitor the progress of children towards arbitrary targets, providing evidence for every single learning objective, including sticking photographs into children's books to prove what we have taught...the list is endless.

    Oops, I nearly forgot - we're supposed to teach the children for 5 hours a day too.

    It's really quite simple: exhausted, overwhelmed teachers are not going to be effective teachers.
    bevdex, stonerose, drek and 19 others like this.
  3. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy New commenter

    This is TES clickbait.
    Dumbass economics prof makes pronouncements outside of his area of expertise.
    FWIW, most of a pupil's success or failure is out of my hands. I can be knowledgeable, positive and supportive. However if they can't or won't work, there's little I can do. If they don't have the intellectual capacity for the course, there's little I can do. If they have awful home lives, private tutors, mental illness, a supportive family or any one of a dozen other factors, it's out of my hands.
  4. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    One key thing is that "something" in the relationship between teacher and class. Teacher A says "I want you to do this" and they do it. Teacher B says the same thing and has non-compliance and grumpiness.
    This makes an enormous difference to effectiveness,
    With some groups I had it, sometimes after a lot of hard work, with other groups, I was Teacher B.
    stonerose, drek, hendo2015 and 4 others like this.
  5. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Teacher effectiveness? Effectiveness in teaching?

    I consider teaching to mean explaining things to people who don't understand them.

    What percentage of our working life to we actually spend doing that?

    well under a quarter, certainly.

    I know many many teachers who are very highly skilled.

    But they spend most of their time setting targets, evaluating, attending meetings, filling in data sheets, testing ,marking, writing out lessons plans into the approved format, reading emails, responding to emails, sorting out resources, doing displays, completing paper work, and paperwork and paperwork and paper work and paper work

    so maybe it isn't more skills, that they need, but more time to plan and teach???
    stonerose, drek, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  6. bessiesmith2

    bessiesmith2 New commenter

    It is definitely the case that different teachers can be more or less effective with different groups. I had a brilliant A-level teacher who freely admitted to us that he was hopeless with the lower school classes (a fact that we already knew!). A particular approach or sense of humour can work differently across the age range and there is quite a different skill-set needed to explain complex theories to 17 year olds as opposed to encouraging learning in a large group of quite silly 11 year olds.
  7. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    "To maximise average value added, about 80 per cent of teachers should be dismissed after their first year," the study said.

    Well that should make teaching a more attractive career option and solve the recruitment and retention problem.
    stonerose, drek, history200 and 6 others like this.
  8. gainly

    gainly Lead commenter

    About 95%, I'm a private tutor.
    agathamorse, Shedman and Corvuscorax like this.
  9. letap

    letap Occasional commenter

    Just a thought, but perhaps a professor of economics should focus on the effectiveness of economic forecasts before lecturing others...................
    stonerose, drek, hendo2015 and 3 others like this.
  10. cassiedogrip

    cassiedogrip New commenter

    This is, quite simply, one of the best replies to a post that I have ever read on the whole Community forum! I totally agree with the views
    stonerose, drek, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  11. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    Totally agree that this is clickbait.

    But I will bite anyway.

    What is the current measure of teacher effectiveness?

    Can it be measured in pointless data, multi-coloured marking or the sheer number of "interventions" to get little Johnny back on his flightpath?

    Can it be measured at all ? I think not and that is the core issue. Lots of highly paid managers justifying their own existence by installing policies which sacrifice work/life balance in favour of paying for their new extension.

    And all completely ignored by OFSTED. It will only take one RI rating on the grounds of poor work/life balance and it would stop immediately.
    bevdex, stonerose, drek and 2 others like this.
  12. Skeoch

    Skeoch Lead commenter

    We all know of teachers in our schools who are better at teaching than others. We all know of less effective teachers. In that respect there is no news here.
    What is harder is to assess this and to help the less good become better. That's probably true of most occupations.
    agathamorse likes this.
  13. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    I agree that some teachers are simply better than others but that is a purely subjective observation. I have mentored trainee and newly qualified teachers and have pointed out some weaknesses and strengths and passed on strategies which have worked for me in certain situations. This is genuinely helping teachers to become more effective.

    However, I am troubled by relating effectiveness to assessment results. Beating a teacher over the head with a flightpath spreadsheet which has red coloured cells is not helping anyone. This is where teaching is different from other occupations. I am not producing widgets on a production line. CEM and CAT scores do not predict anything, they are indicators at best. Predicted grades , for me, are worthless.
    agathamorse likes this.
  14. bessiesmith2

    bessiesmith2 New commenter

    This is what happens when you reduce people to numbers. I like to think there is more to life than graphs and charts....
    Shedman, phlogiston and agathamorse like this.
  15. physicsfanboy

    physicsfanboy New commenter

    I once had a conversation where the management drone waved a flightpath document at me and tried to tell me I was under performing because reasons. Having (politely) pointed out that the graph was meaningless, her response was along the lines of 'that doesn't matter, because it's what we use'. We have moved to a point where reality doesn't matter, facts are irrelevant and the bosses opinion overrides logic.
    drek, agathamorse and Shedman like this.
  16. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    I have had the exact same discussion with a manager. It is largely why I left the UK and will never teach in England again.
    Our drone gloried in coming round to every department waving his spreadsheet which had red cells to show where teachers were failing their students. It was all for OFSTED, apparently. I did not argue, I resigned along with half of the staff in the school.
    eljefeb90, drek, agathamorse and 2 others like this.
  17. Sisyphus_rolls_again

    Sisyphus_rolls_again Established commenter

    When someone wants to discuss 'expected progress' with you, make sure that 3 things are clarified:

    The 'expectation' is most likely based on a progress 8 calculation. Does the SLT wonk know that the calculations are historic and change each year, so cannot be used to project future performance?

    The progress 8 calculation is based on the national average ks4 outcomes for each ks2 fine grade. What is the variation in those? You might throw in 'standard deviation' for sh1t and giggles.

    The example ks2 calculation in the DfE booklet on progress 8 shows the fine grades calculated to 14 decimal places, what level of precision does your SLT think that represents in terms of a real measurement in the real world. Is it realistic to expect different outcomes, bearing in mind that only 10 grades of differentiation are available at GCSE?
    agathamorse likes this.
  18. moscowbore

    moscowbore Lead commenter

    As stated above, the last thing the spreadsheet waver was interested in was discussing the validity of flight paths.

    I found out later that my particular spreadsheet waver, official title "Director of Student Progress" , got sacked because his spreadsheet waving did not produce improved results. Who would have thought?
    agathamorse likes this.
  19. Kandahar

    Kandahar Lead commenter

    Yes indeed.
    agathamorse likes this.
  20. drek

    drek Lead commenter

    Maybe instead of looking at data ask the teachers who spend over 850 hours a year for at least 13 years or more actually doing the teaching bit in teaching in front of classes of 30 or more......oops are there any left?
    .... groups containing a mix of children of hardworking decent parents/caters, druggies, benefits scammers, anti social thugs...... Some sink schools have huge management teams overseeing how many of the such students they can accept that is the sum total of their job attached to the funding each such student brings.....
    . They have lots of meetings penned into the school diary inviting such students in. Then another series of meetings writing policy for teachers they lumber with huge groups of such students to follow.
    Their CPDs consist of themselves reading chunks of these policies to exhausted teachers at the end of an exhausting day trying to keep these children in their own seats let alone doing the class work required to make progress...... policies which involve teachers entering data on a series of software products that don’t really work efficiently together if at all...and take up hours of home time.
    the dfe will ask the opinion of those on the leadership pathway who will have done the least amount of accumulated lifetime of teaching hours. They will have carefully chosen their own students/courses to teach which will show wonderful progress data.......And along with the dfe and OFSTED base the entire education system on pretending that despite massive differences in parenting background and skills and other special needs, all children should show progress based on one adult having to cope with these groups on their own with very little actual consistent physical support from any of the lead staff in a school.
    Well apart from unrealistic demands and training on how to do more for those students who wander school corridors in mini gangs disrupting lessons and destroying the school site in general.
    They will ask enthusiastic idealistic nqts (least amount of accumulated teaching hours), office staff, data entry staff in fact any self proclaimed expert who has put in the least amount of actual teaching hours..... about what they think about teaching and it’s effectiveness.
    Shouldn’t the question be about what everyone in the system can do together to improve student behaviour? Without behaviour little else can be achieved. The experts with less teaching to do can arrange trips, concerts, reward evenings and on paper make it appear all wonderful and hunky dory but each of these activities take up a few hours a week not whole days for 195 days of the year......
    In our school a teacher can be trapped (sorry there is no other word for it) with obnoxious student behaviour for over 100 hours with no help form the school behaviour tsars, apart from verbal ‘advice and admonitions’... ‘have you entered the data in 5 different formats as per policy 300 subsection c? and have you called the parents and recorded it.
    Yes to all mate and we have emailed you with the verbal abuse we had to endure from said parents.......
    Response from lead staff.....keep doing this for another 100 hours....
    Where the hell is that brick wall? Lol
    Lalad likes this.

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