Australia Ranks Teacher-Student Relationships as Top Factor in Teacher Effectiveness, Says Pearson Survey


5 October 2016

Report finds overwhelming agreement that building trusting, productive relationships and patient, caring teachers contribute most to student success; offers insights into keeping great teachers in the classroom.

The ability to build relationships was the top choice of what qualities make an effective teacher, according to a survey released from Pearson. Survey respondents include Australian students, parents, teachers, principals and policymakers. The findings offered insights into what it takes to be successful in the classroom from those who are on the frontlines of education.

“As the world’s learning company, Pearson aims to be the standard bearer for learning; fuelling the love and passion teachers bring into the classroom every day,” said Pearson Australia Managing Director David Barnett.

“The value of our study is in the use of these results to shape the critical discussions needed for reviewing current pre-service and in-service teacher training, as well as hiring and teacher evaluation policies to raise Australia’s educator practice.”

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The survey results reveal consistency in the responses, with building relationships being the top choice across all respondent groups. These findings reflect how strongly Australia values dispositions of care in teachers.

According to the survey, these are the top 5 responses from all groups about what makes an effective teacher, in descending order:

* Ability to develop trusting, productive relationship

* Patient, caring, kind personality

* Knowledge of learners

* Dedication to teaching

* Subject matter knowledge


“Pearson’s focus on personalised learning through technology and quality content both frees up teachers to build relationships and use them to improve learning,” says Kristen DiCerbo, Ph.D., Vice President of Education Research at Pearson.

“By developing products that deliver on outcomes, Pearson aims to allow teachers to focus less on content creation and more on delivering personalised learning.”

Pearson surveyed a total of 23 countries as part of its Global Survey of Educator Effectiveness. Australia’s results align with the global findings. Globally, survey participants did not focus first on how much a teacher knew, or even what kinds of teaching methods he or she used, but instead on the teacher’s dispositions and ability to build relationships.

About the Survey: The survey, conducted in 2015, was administered across Australia. The stakeholder groups include students ages 15-19, parents of primary/secondary students primary/secondary teachers, primary/secondary administrators, and education researchers and policymakers. Respondents were asked to list, in their own words, between 3 and 15 qualities that they feel are most important in making an “effective” teacher and to indicate what type of teacher, by subject(s) and grade level(s), they were thinking about while creating their list. Data was collected by Helme Consulting. The Canadian survey is a part of a larger Global Survey of Educator Effectiveness. Pearson has surveyed 23 countries about what makes an effective teacher.

Download the article on 'What makes an effective teacher?'



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