What is a Good Teacher?

30th Apr 2012; 18:30

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Read Ndidi Okezie's RSA Comment Article: What is a good teacher?

Read Teach First's report of the debate: Education Matters: What is a good teacher?

The RSA / Teach First Education Matters Debates

Teacher quality has long been recognised as a key determinant of pupil attainment. With Ofsted recently signalling changes to the inspection criteria, teacher quality is once again high on the policy agenda. So, is it time to re-examine and re-define what we really mean by this? What are the key characteristics of the “good teacher” and how can more teachers be supported to not just be good, but outstanding?

Does the answer to low performance lie in better selecting and training new recruits to the profession, or in improved on-the-job training for those already teaching? Or do we have completely unrealistic expectations of teachers to start with, imagining that “heroic” individuals can transform schools in challenging circumstances?  Should we be focusing more on the whole school community and the way that teachers and communities collaborate?

In order to create a teaching workforce that is uniformly well-qualified, highly-motivated, and culturally respected, could it be that we need nothing less than a paradigm shift in our attitudes towards teaching as a profession?

As part of its 10th Anniversary year, Teach First has started a national conversation about why education matters. The charity is looking to understand what collective impact is needed to close the gap between children from low-income communities and their wealthier peers. In this opening event in a new series of Education Matters Debates, Teach First and the RSA bring together a high-profile panel of practitioners and policymakers to ask: What do we mean by good teaching? And does it mean the same thing in all contexts?

Speakers: Sir Michael Wilshaw, HM Chief Inspector of Education, Children's Services & Skills; Matthew Taylor, chief executive, RSA; Peter Hyman, headteacher, School 21 and former Downing Street strategist; and Ndidi Okezie, Teach First '03 Ambassador.

Chair: Gillian Hargreaves, education correspondent, BBC. 

See what people said on Twitter: #EduMatters

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