September 18, 2013
What Makes a Great Teacher: Training? Experience? Intelligence? Grit?

If a teacher is successful in the classroom, does it matter how she got there, or how long she intends to stay in the profession? Should personal qualities like perseverance and grit count just as much as completing the requisite coursework in curriculum and instruction?Those are some of the questions being asked in the wake of a new study that reflects favorably on Teach For America’s corps members who teach mathematics in schools that have typically struggled to fill teaching vacancies.The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, also found that the New Teacher Project's Teaching Fellows, an alternative hiring program, had student gains that were comparable to their peers who entered the profession through more traditional means. Those findings arguably open the door a little wider for discussion of the merits of alternative routes to licensure. Over at Slate, Matthew Yglesias makes a solid point about TNTP being at least as good at picking effective teachers as the traditional training programs that produce the vast majority of the nation’s educator workforce.
Read more. [Image: J Pat Carter/AP Images]

What Makes a Great Teacher: Training? Experience? Intelligence? Grit?

If a teacher is successful in the classroom, does it matter how she got there, or how long she intends to stay in the profession? Should personal qualities like perseverance and grit count just as much as completing the requisite coursework in curriculum and instruction?

Those are some of the questions being asked in the wake of a new study that reflects favorably on Teach For America’s corps members who teach mathematics in schools that have typically struggled to fill teaching vacancies.

The study, conducted by Mathematica Policy Research for the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, also found that the New Teacher Project's Teaching Fellows, an alternative hiring program, had student gains that were comparable to their peers who entered the profession through more traditional means. Those findings arguably open the door a little wider for discussion of the merits of alternative routes to licensure. Over at Slate, Matthew Yglesias makes a solid point about TNTP being at least as good at picking effective teachers as the traditional training programs that produce the vast majority of the nation’s educator workforce.

Read more. [Image: J Pat Carter/AP Images]

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