Sunday, December 12, 2010

Rate Your Teacher....a Gates Foundation study sheds a little light on a thorny web practice

Logo da fundação Bill & Melinda GatesImage via WikipediaA Gates Foundation research initiative has found that students who rated their teachers highly also scored better on standardized tests than their peers.

Teachers whose students described them as skillful at maintaining classroom order, at focusing their instruction and at helping their charges learn from their mistakes are often the same teachers whose students learn the most in the course of a year, as measured by gains on standardized test scores, according to a progress report on the research. [NY Times, What Works in the Classroom? Ask the Students, published December 10, 2010]

These findings are part of the Gates foundation’s $45 million Measure of Effective Teaching study project. A joint partnership / project involving a massive team of social scientists and circa 3000 teachers from various districts across the US. The project is basically hoping to build a 'metrics' for identifying effective teaching: i.e. lay the foundation for managing future teachers and "overhaul" the current system. (Yup, the entire premise is quite scary, and definitely not "teacher-friendly" study if you're a good teacher but, for whatever reason, not necessarily liked by students.)

A Gates Foundation report on this topic was released earlier this year in June, Working with Teachers to Develop Fair and Reliable Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) .