How High School Students Perceive Effective Teachers

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Submitted By ariloeyoe
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hoolHow High School Students Perceive Effective Teachers Jerome G. Delaney Faculty of Education Memorial University of Newfoundland Abstract Traditionally high school students have not been given many opportunities to offer their insights and comments on education and schooling. This paper reports on a study which asked students to list the top five characteristics of effective teachers. Their perceptions are congruent with the literature and one of the several conclusions is that teachers, administrators and other stakeholders in education should pay attention to what students have to say about the characteristics of effective teachers. There appears to be a dearth of information regarding high school students’ perceptions of the characteristics of effective teachers. In fact, according to SooHoo (1993). Somehow educators have forgotten the important connection between teachers and students. We listen to outside experts to inform us, and, consequently, we overlook the treasure in our very own backyards: our students. Student perceptions are valuable to our practice because they are authentic sources; they personally experience our classrooms first hand. . . As teachers, we need to find ways to continually seek out these silent voices because they can teach us so much about learning and learners. (p. 389) Providing teachers with feedback about their teaching, whether it be from colleagues, administrators or students, is an important aspect of school improvement. Rudduck, Chaplain and Wallace (1996) noted the potential role that students might play in school improvement: Those bent on improvement in schools might usefully start by inviting pupils to talk about what makes learning difficult for them, about what diminishes their motivation and engagement, and what makes some give up and others settle for a “minimum risk, minimum effort” position – even though they know…...

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