Best Practice

The five ingredients of outstanding teaching

A new study has sought to identify the characteristics of excellent teaching and excellent teachers. Tony McAleavy looks at the five common traits of outstanding teaching.

Decades of research into school effectiveness tells us, unsurprisingly, that teaching excellence is a universal characteristic of high performing schools. You simply cannot have a great school without great teaching. 

There are of course other factors which contribute to school effectiveness – for example, leadership and the relationship with parents – but it is the quality of teaching that is the overriding factor.

While headteachers and teachers are aware of this, it can often be difficult to recognise what excellent teaching involves , and know what supporting structures need to be in place to allow excellent teaching to thrive. 

A new report by CfBT Education Trust – To the Next Level: Improving secondary school teaching to outstanding – has explored the question of teaching excellence through observation in schools that have been on a journey towards excellence, together with interviews with experienced university teacher educators and a review of existing literature.

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