Effective teachers in urban school settings : linking teacher disposition and student performance on standardized tests
Ransdell, Mary Frances, 1957-
Rousseau, Celia Keiko
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This study examined the teaching dispositions of 14 elementary (K-6) urban teachers designated as effective by their principals to determine the classroom practices that promote academic success for students based on standardized test scores. Investigators used the Teacher Quality Measure (TQM), an instrument aligned to the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), in addition to field notes, in observations of the teachers. The results of this study suggest that effective teachers whose students score high on standardized tests in urban school settings actively engage their students in learning in a teacher-centered classroom. These teachers are consistent in following set rules and procedures resulting in instructional flow as students stay on task. The teachers have developed rapport with their students through good verbal and nonverbal communication skills. Their focus on instruction seems to be linked with seamless classroom management. These teachers are committed to helping students learn through the use of repetition as a means of ensuring student understanding of concepts and skills. These dispositions run counter to constructivist theory as it is taught in most teacher preparation programs, causing concern that although students may perform adequately on current standardized tests, they may not be acquiring needed problem-solving skills necessary for long-term achievement.