Perhaps it would be easier to produce a fabulous curriculum, an extraordinary strategy or an outstanding program than it is to reproduce master teachers. However none of these “things” can begin to replace effective teaching. If you want results for students, place your bet on a teacher.
Marzano’s research confirms what thousands of educators will verify. STUDENTS WILL ACHIEVE EVEN IN THE PRESENCE OF A SCHOOL THAT IS DYSFUNCTIONAL, IF THEY HAVE A HIGHLY EFFECTIVE TEACHER. Conversely, students will not achieve, even in a highly functional school, if they do not have an effective teacher. Teachers make the difference!
The ninth Institute for Excellence in Education (IEE) belief is based on this research: There is not a curriculum, a program, or a strategy that can substitute for effective teaching.
You may ask, “don’t we need both (curriculum, programs and strategies) AND highly effective teachers”? Certainly, teachers and students alike benefit from well-developed curricula aligned with standards. And what teacher doesn’t appreciate learning new classroom strategies to engage students in learning? So too, programs that support students’ needs are vital to quality education.
Sometimes, however, it may appear to legislators, school boards, and others who are seeking a magic bullet or a quick fix that the shortest route to increasing student achievement is the latest product to come off the education conveyor. Time, resources, support, and dollars spent to help identify, train, and retain our most effective teachers is the only thing that ever has worked or will work to increase student achievement. Investing in human capital pays big dividends.
What might be some ways that your school does or could do to support effective teaching? How might coaching, mentors, and collaboration impact effective teaching in your school?