Teachers who are not certified and often rely on the aid of professional tutors often lack the professional knowledge and experience needed to be effective.
That’s what we want to see, says Jennifer T. O’Leary, an associate professor of education and training at George Washington University who has researched the subject.
O ‘Leary and her colleagues recently published a paper in the Journal of Teaching and Learning that looked at how different teachers were using the best teaching tools and how the skills needed to teach were often missing from their teaching arsenal.
“We found that teachers with very little or no teaching experience, particularly at the intermediate and advanced levels, are often more likely to rely on tutors for teaching skills than their less-qualified peers,” O’Brien says.
The paper suggests that if you’re not a certified teacher, the best way to teach is to get a certificate, as well as the skills to teach.
“It’s not that you need to be perfect in every facet of teaching, but there’s a lot of value to have a certificate of competence,” she says.
Teachers can use the best online and print-only learning tools to help their students.
O O’Bryan and her team also found that students who are more likely than their peers to struggle with basic math skills and social-emotional skills are more apt to get into trouble with teachers.
O’Brien, who has published several studies of the subject, points out that teaching is one of the most important aspects of a high-performing university.
“You want to make sure that the students are receiving the most value from the time that they spend in the classroom,” she explains.
The study is part of an ongoing collaboration with the University of Toronto’s Center for Teaching Excellence.
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