A million $ question with equal worth for the society. A question that weighs heavily on every teacher’s mind- whether a novice or a 20 yr experienced expert.
What qualities make a teacher effective is a difficult question to answer. It is a very broad and deep area which covers various facets of teaching and the teacher’s personality.
In Module 3A, I learnt about Teaching Knowledge Base which primarily is made up of 3 components- Content Knowledge (CK), Pedagogical Knowledge (PK) and Technological Knowledge (TK) and off course the intermingling of this which create PCK, TPK and TCK. And finally, when all these three come together to create the framework for TPCK.
Since the primary job of a teacher is to teach, s/he must have good knowledge about the subject/content that s/he teaches. This includes not just mastery over the subject but an effective teacher is one who is able to teach and guide the students in critically evaluating the various aspects of the subject matter , its connection with other subjects (to make the curriculum transdiciplinary) and most important, its connection with their lives.
It is not enough to teach the subject well. It is equally important that your students understand and are able to learn from you, which means that an effective teacher will use appropriate teaching strategies to ensure engagement from the students. Here, pedagogy comes into play. An elementary teacher will teach history in a different way than a high school history teacher will do. Each age group responds differently to different strategies. An effective teacher will match the content and teaching style to the learners.
The third component, TK (which did not get much weight-age under Shulman (1997) came into prominence with Koehler and Mishra (2006). Since technology has heavily pervaded all aspects of modern society, it is befitting that it plays a prominent role in teaching and learning process.
Since technology is a new area and a dynamic one too, many teachers face problems in adopting it in their classrooms. Lack of training, lack of guidance and (sometimes) lack of interest/time deters the teachers to adopt newer technology in their class. I don’t have to look far for this. I face similar issues when it comes to technology. I am not a novice in this area and can say that I am fairly comfortable with technology and am able to use it for my day to day affairs. So for, eg, I am comfortable using ppt but now wanna move to prezi. But find it difficult as need guidance to create one. Another personal example is use of ‘Storybird’. It is a program for ‘artful storytelling’. I know, I can effectively use this to teach my students (9-10 yrs old) creative writing and even the not-so-good-writers will be able to use it efficiently. However, I need time to first understand it myself and then teach my students, how to use it. I wish, I could have someone to guide me through this 😦
To sum it up, an effective teacher is one who is able to use TPCK effectively and also displays the following characteristics:
- Builds relationship with the students
- Setting of goals- expert teachers teach with a purpose.
- Giving information- expert teachers provide less information but in a more effective manner
- Keeping students involved- a passive student is a passive learner. Expert teachers ensure that the learners remain actively involved in the sessions.
- Student/ teacher interaction- the interaction between the students and a effective teacher is positive-both gaining from such a relationship.
- Concluding the session- an effective teacher will close a session by reviewing the key points discussed during the session.
An effective teacher is :
picture source: http://agreenblatt.blogspot.com/2014/09/being-effective-teacher.html
For me, it is still a WIP (work in progress), especially in terms of integrating TK with CK and PK and arrive at TPCK. This course has made me learn many things (in terms of technology) and now I feel more comfortable in trying out new technologies ……
So here to more learning……
A good teacher is first a good student 🙂 🙂