Evaluating the impact of Scottish Teachers for a New Era on the development of effective teacher qualities

Peter Mtika, Edward M Sosu

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


The Scottish Teachers for a New Era (STNE) is exploring how best to prepare teachers who will enhance pupils learning and achievement and is based on research and evidence should underpin teacher education (Fallon, 2006). Recent international reforms of teacher educational programmes aimed at developing effective teacher qualities in student teachers (Ludlow et al., 2008). Although there is extensive evidence of a ‘teacher effect’ on pupils’ learning (Munoz & Chan, 2008), little consensus exists about the specific teacher qualities that leads to greater teacher effect on pupils learning (Stronge, 2007; Muijs & Reynolds, 2005). This paper will present the approaches to use evidence to develop effective teacher qualities among student teachers. A framework of effective teacher qualities was developed using literature reviews, educational policy documents and discussion with stakeholders. The approach is based on the argument that having a clear shared framework among teacher educators is necessary for effective programme design (Darling-Hammond et al, 2005). Most importantly, the framework provided the criteria for evaluating the impact of the programme on student teachers. A two-way strategy using a mixed methods approach was employed for data collection. The strategies involved entry and exit data that provided a macro level perspective and specific course evaluations that examined the micro level impact of specific modules. Entry and exit profile data helped to determine the extent to which the programme overall may have accounted for the development of effective teacher qualities such as epistemological beliefs (Chan & Elliot, 2004), critical thinking, social justice and content and pedagogic efficacy. Instruments for measuring each construct were either adapted or developed for the project and acceptable reliability indices were obtained for each scale. Additionally, a course evaluation questionnaire which encompassed both closed and open ended responses was employed at the end of each course to determine the extent to which course objectives were achieved. Data has been also been obtained from different cohorts of student teachers to allow for comparison across cohorts.

Initial analysis of entry and exit data shows significant shift in student teachers’ epistemological belief with participants scoring higher in the Exit data (M = 42.59, SD = 3.79) than in the Entry data (M = 37.94, SD 3.76), t(62) = 9.19, p < .001. This indicates a shift towards more sophisticated epistemological beliefs (Chan & Elliot, 2004) and the eta squared statistic (.58) indicated a large effect size. Comparative analysis using data from postgraduate entry profiles showed that these influences were not simply the result of maturation and experience. Further, significant increases were also observed in the student teachers’ critical thinking, pedagogic content efficacy, social justice and inclusion. Evidence from programme and course evaluation however indicate that more input is needed to provide student teachers with specific skills necessary for helping pupils with English as Additional Language. The next phase is to evaluate how effective teacher qualities influence pupils’ learning and achievement. The presentation concludes by arguing for a robust and systematic evaluation to ensure further improvement to programmes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2010
EventAERA 2010 Conference - Denver, United States
Duration: 30 Apr 20104 May 2010


ConferenceAERA 2010 Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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