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Importance of teacher learning for students’ achievement

​Modern society demands high quality teaching and learning from teachers. Teachers have to possess a great deal of knowledge and skills with regard to both teaching and assessment practices in order to meet those demands and standards of quality education.

En lærer skriver på tavlen mens hun snakker med en elev. Effective teacher learning and professional development is important for student achievement.

Teacher learning is a continuous process that promote teachers’ teaching skills, master new knowledge, develop new proficiency, which in turn, help improve students’ learning. Previous studies have indicated that when teachers are effective classroom managers, their students achieve at a higher level (Freiberg et al. 1995; Omoteso and Samudara 2011; Stronge et al. 2011; Stronge et al. 2008) and display more interest in the class subject matter (Kunter et al. 2007).

Classroom management is essential to both teachers’ education and teachers’ professional development, it is crucial to keep teachers knowledge up to date, so they can deliver high quality teaching (e.g., Emmer and Sabornie 2015; Pianta 1999). Interestingly, we know very little about teachers leaching, considering that, teachers themselves are experts in teaching and learning. My thesis explores this area, in order to shed a light on the problem of teachers’ learning. 

Classroom management influence student learning environment and student learning outcome

A growing body of research in classrooms has demonstrated that teachers do make a tangible difference in student achievement (Vescio et al. 2008; Ronfeldt et al. 2015). According to Vermunt (2014), high quality teacher learning influences student-learning outcome as a result. Teachers must undergo cognitive and metacognitive learning processes in order to achieve learning outcome in the form of changed believes about their practice or, even better, change in behavior.

These processes are cognitive thinking activities that are used to process learning content, for example classroom management. Teacher outcomes in terms of improved knowledge and skills in a field of classroom management influence student learning environment and student learning outcome because of changed student learning processes (Vermut 2014).

According to Pianta and colleagues (2012), teachers should concentrate on emotional support, classroom organization and instructional support aspects of classroom interaction among teacher and students. To be able to do that, it requires that the teacher, possesses a certain set of knowledge and skills to understand how these three domains work, what difference they can make for a teacher in the classroom and why they are so important. It is a research proven knowledge that classroom interaction is a tool for any teacher, which will support him/her in any classroom situation.

Professional development should be implemented in teachers' schedules

Teachers with high quality teaching tend to do and find out more about their own craft, pushing out the boundaries of their learning and teaching, looking for the new topics and ways to teach. However, in order to achieve their maximum potential, ongoing professional development should be implemented in their schedules.

Teachers provided with proper training on up-to-date information and new research on classroom management, on emerging technology tools for the classroom, new curriculum resources, and more, could become a successful factor to their schools. The best professional development is ongoing, collaborative, and connected to and derived from working with students and understanding their culture (Darling-Hammond et al. 2017; Borko 2004).

My PhD thesis indicates a positive link between teacher learning in classroom interaction and student outcomes as perceived by the teachers themselves. Effective teacher learning and professional development is important for student achievement.

 

Text: Ksenia Solheim

 

References

Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3–15.

Darling-Hammond, L., Hyler, M. E., & Gardner, M. (2017). Effective Teacher Professional Development.

Emmer, E. T., & Sabornie, E. J. (2015). Handbook of classroom management (2nd. Ed). New York: Routledge.

Freiberg, H.J., Stein, T. & Huang, S. (1995). Effects of classroom management intervention on a student achievement in inner-city elementary schools. Educational Research and Evaluation: An International Journal on Theory and Practice, 1, 36–66.

Kunter, M., Baumert, J. & Koller, O. (2007). Effective classroom management and the development of subject related interest. Learning and Instruction, 17(5), 494–509.

Omoteso, B., & Samudara, A. (2011). The relationship between teachers' effectiveness and management of classroom misbehaviors in secondary schools. Psychology, 2, 902–908.

Pianta, R.C. (1999). Enhancing relationships between children and teachers. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Pianta, R.C., Hamre, B.K., Allen, J.P. (2012). Teacher-Student Relationships and Engagement: Conceptualizing, Measuring, and Improving the Capacity of Classroom Interactions. Handbook of Research on Student Engagement, pp 365–386.

Ronfeldt, M., Farmer, S. O., McQueen, K., & Grissom, J. A. (2015). Teacher collaboration in instructional teams and student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 52(3), 475–514.

Stronge, J.H., Ward, T.J., & Grant, L.W. (2011). What makes good teachers good? A cross-case analysis of the connection between teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Journal of Teacher Education, 62(4), 339–355.

Stronge, J.H., Ward, T.J., Tucker, P.D., & Hindman, J.L. (2008). What is the relationship between teacher quality and student achievement? An exploratory study. Journal of Personnel Evaluation in Education, 20(3-4), 165–184.

Vermunt, J.D. (2014). Teacher learning and professional development. In: Krolak-Schwerdt S. et al.(Eds.), Teachers’ Professional Development, 79–95.

Vescio, V., Ross, D., & Adams, A. (2008). A review of research on the impact of professional learning communities on teaching practice and student learning. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(1), 80–91.