Recent articles have highlighted the importance of good quality teaching as a determinant of child success. Bill Gates (ex Microsoft) argues strongly in a video presentation
on the TED
website that not only are good teachers the main determinants of success, but practice learnt early on doesn't change much during the rest of a teacher's career. This view was supported in a recent conference speech by Prof. Dylan William
of the Institute of Education and reported by the BBC as 'Class equipment can be a waste
Prof. William sets out his argument for looking at the cost of gaining a benefit, for instance that actions such as reducing class sizes are expensive and the outcome doubtful. He argues that simple methods of providing continuous feedback are far more effective.
Just exactly what taxonomy describes the combination of competencies, attributes and skills that make a good or useless teacher? OFSTED estimated there were 15,000 'useless teachers', and the Daily Mail reported
that only 10 have been fired.
Prof. Williams asserts that the school a child attends is much less important than which teachers they have. If a school invests more in technology, do they attract these better teachers? One thing is for sure, getting and keeping the right staff is a real challenge ... more helpful is to understand what makes the 'right staff'.