England Report of Educator Effectiveness

Improving Education by Improving Teacher Quality

Studies also indicate that to achieve a high quality education system, the focus has to be on developing a strong teacher workforce. Teachers make the biggest school-based difference for students.

For England to improve its education system, which includes a large proportion of students who are not prepared with the skills required for participating in a global economy, focusing on teacher quality is important.

What does it mean to be an effective teacher? Pearson asked students, parents, teachers, principals, policymakers and education researchers across England what they thought.

Top 10 most important qualities of teachers in England:

  1. Ability to Develop Trusting, Productive Relationships
  2. Patient, Caring, Kind Personality
  3. Engaging Students in Learning
  4. Subject Matter Knowledge
  5. Knowledge of Learners
  6. Professionalism
  7. Classroom Management
  8. Ability to Make Ideas and Content Clear
  9. Dedication to Teaching
  10. Teaching Skills/Pedagogical Practices

Relationships Facilitate Better Learning

We expected responses to different based on stakeholder characteristics. But, all stakeholders most frequently cited qualities about the teacher’s disposition—being able to build relationships with students and being patient and kind—as what makes an effective teacher.

The survey responses align with what the research says matters. There is a link between these dispositions, teacher effectiveness and learner outcomes. Teachers need to be able to build compassionate, trusting relationships with students to create a safe, positive and productive teaching and learning environment.

What surprised us is that few education professionals, like teachers and principals, cited factors that are well-known to make teachers effective. For example, only one percent responded that lesson planning was important, and less than one percent that the ability to consistently assess student learning progress and adjust instruction accordingly.

Including Dispositions in Measures of Teacher Quality and Training

These results can inform discussions about teacher preparation, hiring, training, and evaluation, particularly in light of the issues faced by the British education system.

The emphasis of British education stakeholders on the ability of teachers to build productive, trusting relationships and serve as a mentor with students, suggests important areas for teacher preparation, professional growth, and evaluation.