Education Journal

We Know How, What's Stopping Us: Generating Effective Teaching and Learning

2000.第28卷第2期(Vol. 28 No. 2).pp. 63–83


We Know How, What’s Stopping Us: Generating Effective Teaching and Learning


Robert BURNS


This discussion paper considers how effective teaching can be generated in schools. Firstly, a focus is directed towards the non-intellectual aspects of schooling that impact on student and teacher performance to argue that effective teaching involves the development of personal growth as well as intellect. Besides good pedagogical skills that sets them apart from less successful teachers, effective teachers possess a range of personal attributes in terms of human relationship skills, self esteem, respect for and unconditional acceptance of all students, empathy, and appropriate humor. Teaching is more than just technical competence or a sound theory of instruction. It is a personal relationship with each member of the class.

Secondly, there is an exploration of some of the issues concerning effective teaching in the learning/understanding context, since a certain of our contemporary classroom practices, advocated as means of providing excellent or effective teaching of content, may in fact impede student learning. It proposes that some older concepts and models may provide a guide to this and need revisiting, particularly those that focus on cognitive approaches. It is not that educators do not know what effective teaching is or how to do it, but that conditions are often inimical to its development and operation.