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November 03, 2010


Luis Enrique

They also say research finds "the best teachers perform well across age ranges and abilities of pupils" which doesn't make it sound like matching is too important.

Although that leaves the question of teacher-school matches unanswered. It seems quite intuitive that some teachers that do well with well behaved kids do worse with rowdy ones, and vice versa. I wonder if there is research on that?

you mention matches between pupils and individuals, but teachers are matched with classes, so I can't immediately see where that point leads.


I wasn't at all surprised that factors such as the age and qualifications of a teacher don't make much difference, nor class sizes - but it seemed to me that having ruled these out, they shrugged as if it were all a mystery.

Did they ever think of asking the kids what *they* thought made a good teacher? You'd find that they value a teacher being able to explain things clearly and being able to keep order - followed by being approachable and having a sense of humour etc. If these have any bearing on actual results, which I imagine they do, it isn't at all surprising that it takes two years to find out whether a teacher has these first two abilities - leaving me wondering if a search for these characteristics at the selection stage is fairly futile.

Other possible solutions might be making it easier for teachers to move around to maximise the chances of getting better matches. But probably more important to replicate the qualities of a good teacher on an organisational level? Presumably a teacher with indifferent class management skills would get better results in a tightly-run school, for example.

Another thought that occurred to me is even if they *could* identify the characteristics of a good teacher at the selection stage, what makes them think there would be any more available than there is now?


"Now, that comes from India"

Shame. I'd hoped someone had recognized the caste-based nature of British society there.

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