The top teachers’ ingredients

Nieuws | de redactie
29 mei 2012 | It is not so much the knowledge you possess, it is the skill of transmitting that knowledge that ranks highest among university teachers. Research shows that teachers-to-be have a different set of ideals.

A recent article in the Journal Studies for the Learning Societypoints towards an interesting shift in the ideals of would beteachers and current teachers at universities.

Before having any teaching experience, university lecturerspointed out the necessity of having excellent knowledge of thesubject was the most significant factor, which is in accordancewith earlier investigations.

Hunger for knowledge

Teaching experience not only has a defining impact on the idealimage of a university teacher but is also the initial agent ofchange of professional identity. While inexperienced universityteachers ranked knowledge of the subject as the most highlyevaluated characteristics then experienced teachers give greaterimportance to growth of teaching experience, didactic knowledge andskills.

The low ranking of the characteristic of excellent knowledge ofthe subject in the ‘now’ ideal does not infer that experienceduniversity teachers would regard knowledge of the subject asinsignificant. While teaching, a need is felt for a broader worldoutlook, which helps establish new and interesting associations forbetter teaching of the subject, and coping with the teachingprocess may give the teacher a feeling of satisfaction.

Top teacher and top scientist

Based on the participants’ responses, in the course ofaccumulating teaching experience, university teachers becomeincreasingly aware that to be a good teacher one does not need tobe a top scientist in one’s field. Being adequately competent inthe subject and keeping abreast with world scientific achievementsin the field are sufficient. Indeed, since university teacherscannot know everything, they need to acquire alternative methods inorder to more qualitatively transmit the existing knowledge.

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