What really improves teacher quality?

Evidence into Practice

In an interesting article for the Fabian Society, Andrew Old discusses the problems inherent in the desire to raise the quality of teaching.

“‘Focusing on teacher quality’ … sounds agreeable, but much of the detail will be impossibly difficult to work through.
… there is serious ideological disagreement within education as to what a high-quality teacher looks like.”

He identifies two major pitfalls: First, that the bar for subject knowledge is set too low and there are insufficient rewards to encourage individuals with excellent subject knowledge into comprehensive schools. Second, that politicians underestimate the extent to which ideological arguments about the values and purpose of education confound attempts to train teachers in effective pedagogy.

Any attempt to reward good teachers, or increase training for teachers, raises questions about who will judge what a “good teacher” is and what teachers should be trained in.

As it happens, the day I…

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