The true effectiveness of teaching practices revealed

Data from the NSW Tell Them From Me (TTFM) survey has highlighted the profound importance of effective teaching practices on student learning.

A key condition of a student’s education is the extent to which teachers support effective learning time in the classroom. The 2013 and 2015 TTFM surveys showed that supportive classroom environments that promote mastery of classroom content have, on average, enhanced engagement and learning outcomes for students.

Having teaching staff who choose to adopt and place a higher importance on practices such as classroom management, teacher expectations and teacher-student relations, can create higher cognitive (intellectual) engagement and promote greater use of learning and metacognitive strategies among students.

Having teachers who keep their classes well organised and ensure a strong focus on delivering quality instruction that helps students understand important ideas or difficult concepts and the significance of them has shown to have a positive effect on student learning. It has also proved important to have educational staff who are aware of, understand and actively and systematically pursue goals for student learning.

These effects on students have both direct and indirect outcomes. In a direct sense, it helps to unlock learning in the classroom which leads to improvements in student performance and learning outcomes. For instance, by a teacher clearly explaining complex material, the student gains a greater understanding which is then reflected in higher test scores. Indirectly, when a teacher is better at explaining material this motivates students to work harder and engage more with their school work, which is then reflected in improved performances.

By requiring students to demonstrate their understanding of difficult ideas by asking them questions and requiring clear responses, as well as clearly explaining to students what they will be learning and the purpose of each task, teachers have a strong ability to greatly enhance the academic outcomes of their students.

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Christine Chapple Image
Christine Chapple

Christine Chapple is Education Officer (Secondary Curriculum) at the Catholic Schools Office
and an experienced teacher of senior students.

Carmel Tapley Image
Carmel Tapley

Carmel Tapley is an Education Officer (Secondary Curriculum) in the Catholic Schools Office and a former mathematics teacher.