What makes an effective teacher?

Image by Robyn Teske
Image by Robyn Teske

The Bill and Melinda Gates foundation are funding a massive study to figure out what makes for an effective teacher. I think this will be a futile study, when all is said and done. Why? I don’t think effective teaching can be quantified. Just as there are many, many types of learners; there are many, many types of effective teachers. I do believe we can start to single out effective teaching practices, but I don’t feel you can fit a round peg into a square hole. That is, just because a practice is effective for one teacher doesn’t mean it will be effective for another teacher. So, what’s the solution? I’m not sure, but I do think that our continuing push to quantify and assign meaningful data to every variable in education, while understandable, will ultimately prove futile and counterproductive to the goal of raising the American educational banner atop the global flagpole.

That being said, what do you think makes for an effective teacher?

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