Essays in Education


This article examines the reflections of university students regarding the characteristics of their favorite teachers from whom they were able to learn. Data collected from the students indicates that there are twelve common characteristics that emerged as central to what students conceptualize as good teaching. Those twelve characteristics connect to the theme of caring for students, both academically and personally and strengthen recent indicators for “highly qualified” teachers. In reviewing effective teacher research, there is a strong link between what students characterize as good teaching and what the research reports as the traits of effective teachers. Awareness of these traits can help preservice teachers and inservice teachers develop qualities that are associated with effective teachers.

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