Conceptualizing Excellence in Teaching
Anita Woolfolk Hoy
The Ohio State University
[email protected]
Pre-Service Teachers in Taiwan
Excellent Teaching=Student Learning
Research and models
Junior High: Engagement, Motivation
High School: Adaptive Teaching
Pre-Service Teachers
Wang, H. H. (2012). Adaptive and motivated: Psychological qualities of
college students in teacher education programs in Taiwan. British
Educational Research Journal, 38, 655–675.
2005 IHEDS National survey: 2349 pre-service
teachers, 2349 not
Self-report, 35-item Likert scale: “I am good at
persuading others. “I feel confident.” “I am lonely
and isolated.” “I do not cut class.”
Results: Pre-service teachers:
Better oral communication and interpersonal skills
More open to diverse values and opinions
Higher levels of self-esteem
Lower levels of social isolation and depression
More committed to academic work and future career
Ready to become excellent teachers. What does that
Excellent Teaching
Early Research
Rice (1897): Teaching spelling
Barak Rosenshine and Norma Furst (1973)
Teacher Knowledge: Content and (today)
Pedagogical Content Knowledge (learning)
Teacher Clarity and Organization (learning)
Teacher Warmth and Enthusiasm (liking,
Excellent Teaching: Current
Models and Conceptualizations
Academic Optimism
Robert Pianta and the CLASS model
Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching
TeacherWorks: 19 High-Leverage Practices
Understanding by Design (Wiggins & Tighe)
Importance of Relationships
Interactions with adults are the scaffold for
school success in:
emotional self‐control, task orientation,
persistence, motivation, engagement
Cognitive outcomes, language, academic knowledge
Instruction is, in part, a social process:
with teachers are a (not only) “medium”
Excellent teaching is embedded in relationships and
Interactions operate across all content
Two Examples of the Importance of
Longitudinal studies: Research by Robert Pianta and
Quality of the teacher–student relationship in
kindergarten predicted academic and behavioral
outcomes through the 8th grade (Hamre & Pianta
Higher-level (not just basic skills) instruction and
positive relationships with teachers  increased
math achievement for lower achievers (Crosnoe
et al., 2010).
Academic Optimism
Hoy, W. K. (2012). School characteristics that
make a difference for the achievement of all
students: A 40-year academic odyssey. Journal of
Educational Administration, 50, 76-97.
Relational variables?
Goals are:
Culture of
Academic Optimism1
Trust in
Parents &
Relational Trust2
Tarter, and Woolfolk Hoy (2006)
and Schneider (2002)
Figure 3: A Model of the Dynamics of Student Achievement (ãHoy 2010)
CLASS: Classroom Assessment
Scoring System™
Dimensions of Successful Classrooms
Remember--Interactions with adults are the
scaffold for school success. Those interactions
Emotional support
Instructional support
Classroom organization
Climate Dimension
Definitions and Examples
Positive Climate
Warmth, mutual respect, positive emotional connections
between teacher and students
Negative Climate
(negative predictor of
Disrespect, anger, hostility
Teacher Sensitivity
Consistency and effectiveness in responding to
students’ academic and emotional needs
Regard for Students’
Activities encourage student autonomy and emphasize
students’ interests, motivations, and points of view
Concept Development
Activities and discussion promote higher-order thinking
skills and cognition
Quality of Feedback
Consistency in providing specific, process-oriented
feedback and back-and-forth exchanges to extend
students’ learning
Behavior Management
Teachers’ effectiveness in monitoring, preventing, and
redirecting misbehavior
How consistently learning is maximized with clear
activities and routines, teacher preparation, efficient
transitions, and minimal disruptions
See also Brown, J. L., Jones, S. M., LaRusso, M. D., &
Aber, J. L. (2010). Improving classroom quality:
Teacher influences and experimental impacts of the
4Rs Program. Journal of Educational Psychology, 102,
Framework for Teaching
Charlotte Danielson (2013)
“identifies those aspects of a teacher’s
responsibilities that have been documented
through empirical studies and theoretical research
as promoting improved student learning. While the
Framework is not the only possible description of
practice, these responsibilities seek to define what
teachers should know and be able to do in the
exercise of their profession” (p. 3)
Divides the complex task of teaching into the 22 components
below, clustered into 4 domains of teaching responsibility:
Planning and Preparing
Classroom Environment
Professional Responsibilities
Teacher Works
National US project based at the University of
With teachers, identified “a set of ‘best bets,’
warranted by research evidence, wisdom of
practice, and logic.”
Specific  can be taught and observed
19 High-Leverage Teaching Practices
1. Making content (e.g., specific texts, problems, ideas, theories,
processes) explicit through explanation, modelling, representations, and
2. Leading a whole-class discussion
3. Eliciting and interpreting individual students’ thinking
4. Establishing norms and routines for classroom discourse and work that
are central to the subject-matter domain
5. Recognizing particular common patterns of student thinking and
development in a subject-matter domain
6. Identifying and implementing an instructional response or strategy in
response to common patterns of student thinking
7. Teaching a lesson or segment of instruction
8. Implementing organizational routines, procedures, and strategies to
support a learning environment
9. Setting up and managing small group work
10. Engaging in strategic relationship-building conversations with student
11. Setting long- and short-term learning goals for students referenced to
external benchmarks
12. Appraising, choosing, and modifying tasks and texts for a specific
learning goal
13. Designing a sequence of lessons toward a specific learning goal
14. Selecting and using particular methods to check understanding and
monitor student learning during and across lessons
15. Composing, selecting, and interpreting and using information from
quizzes, tests, and other methods of summative assessment
16. Providing oral and written feedback to students on their work
17. Communicating about a student with a parent or guardian
18. Analyzing instruction for the purpose of improving it
19. Communicating with other professionals
Thinking about Planning
Understanding by Design
Wiggins and Tighe (2006)
 Avoids the “twin sins” of planning
Backwards design
from big ideas and essential
 to evidence of understanding
 to teaching plan
Junior High
1. How do teachers design learning
environments and lessons to capture and
hold student interest and encourage
cognitive investment?
2. How do teachers help students become
more self-regulating?
Relationships: Roorda, D. L., Koomen, H. M. Y., Spilt,
J. L., Oort, F. J. (2011).
What else? What can teachers do?
On TARGETT for Learning
Task motivation
Evaluation & feedback
Time for learning
Teacher expectations
Tasks for Learning
Task value
Attainment value: tied to needs/identity
 Intrinsic or interest value
 Utility value/reach goals--> future
Authentic tasks
Problem-based learning
Task operations:
risk & ambiguity
Doyle’s Task Operations
Doyle’s Task Operations
Difficult Memory Task
Simple Memory Task
Difficult memory
or difficult routine
Simple memory
or simple routine
Supporting Autonomy
Student choices
Bounded choices
Student choice on feedback
Recognizing Accomplishments
Authentic praise, specific and justified
Personal improvement
Cautions for use of rewards!
Goal structures
Numbered Heads
Evaluation & Time
Effects of evaluation
 Emphasize learning,
not grades
 Self-evaluation
 Rationales and Rubrics
Effects of time pressure
 Time for engagement
 Time pressure on tests
Teacher Expectations
Self-fulfilling prophecy
Sustaining expectation
Sources of expectations
Who is affected and when?
Teacher Behaviors and
Student Reactions
Instructional strategies: Grouping, pacing,
difficulty level
Teacher-student interaction differences
 Quality and quantity of questions
 Amount of time to answer
 Number of teacher interruptions
 Nonverbal behaviors
Strategies to Encourage Motivation
and Thoughtful Learning
Necessary Classroom Conditions
Organized classroom
Free from interruptions
Safe-to-fail environment
Challenging but reasonable work
Authentic, worthwhile tasks
Critical Student Questions
Can I do it?
Do I want to do it?
What do I need to
do to succeed?
Do I belong in this
1. Can I do it? Building Confidence
& Positive Expectations
Match tasks to student ability level
Move in small steps
Clear, specific, attainable learning goals
Stress self-comparison
Communicate that academic ability can be
Model good problem solving
2. Do I want to?
Seeing the Value of Learning
Older students: utility value, attainment
Younger students: intrinsic/interest value
Intrinsic value
Tie class activities to student interests
 Arouse curiosity
 Make learning fun (if possible)
 Use novelty and familiarity
Seeing the Utility
Value of Learning:
Explain connections
Provide incentives and
rewards if needed
Authentic tasks:
Real world problems
3. Staying Focused on the Task
Frequent assessments and opportunities
to respond
Have students create finished products
Avoid heavy emphasis on grades and
Reduce task risk without oversimplifying
the task
Model motivation to learn
Teach particular learning tactics
4. Do I Belong? Relationships
Beginning Teachers’ Motivation
Build Confidence
Focus Attention
Newby, J. T. (1991). Classroom motivation: Strategies of first year teachers.
Journal of Educational Psychology, 83, 195-200.
High School: Adapting Instruction
Remember Relationships
Remember Motivation
Differentiated Instruction
Flexible Grouping
Joplin Plan
Adaptive Teaching
Matching support to student
abilities and needs
Relationships and Motivation
Ideas for Mentoring
Take advantage of technology.
Establish “email pals” for students, with retired adults or successful former students as their
Download resources from NWREL’s National Mentoring Center, especially their schoolbased mentoring and tutoring materials ( .
Let students know you believe in them.
Set standards high and give critical feedback, but also provide support and encouragement.
Showcase accomplishments of former students.
Take the time to establish and maintain relationships.
Don’t expect trust right away; you may have to earn it.
Spend some time with students outside academics—before or after school, as part of clubs
or extracurricular activities. Have some fun together. Find common interests.
If you set up a more formal mentoring system, be sure participants are trained and monitored.
Use materials from national mentor groups for training, for example, Elements of Effective
Practice from MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership
Have regular times to provide training and to deal with problems that may arise.
Flexible Grouping
Form and re-form groups based on accurate diagnosis of students’ current performance
in the subject being taught. Groupings can be across grades (Joplin Plan)
Make sure different groups get appropriately different instruction, not just the same
material. Make sure teachers, methods, and pace are adjusted to fit the group’s needs.
Vary more than pace; fit teaching to students’ interests and knowledge.
Assign all groups research reports, but have some be written, and others oral or PowerPoint
Organize and teach groups so that low-achieving students get appropriate extra instruction—not
just the same material again. Make lower achieving groups smaller so students get extra
Make sure all work is meaningful and respectful—no worksheets for lower ability groups while
the higher ability groups do experiments and projects.
Discourage comparisons between groups and encourage a whole-class spirit.
Keep the number of groups small (two or three at most) so that you can provide as
much direct teaching as possible—leaving students alone for too long leads to less
Bringing it All Together
Lee, J., & Shute, V. J. (2010). Personal and socialcontextual factors in K–12 academic performance: An
integrative perspective on student learning,
Educational Psychologist, 45, 185–202.
Synthesis of 150 studies
Showing moderate to strong effect sizes linking
personal/social factors to achievement.
4 factors:
Student engagement
Learning strategies
School climate
Social-Family factors
Student Personal Factors
Student Engagement
Students’ Behavior
Make sure students attend classes, follow rules, participate in school activities.
Students’ Minds and
Design challenging tasks, tap intrinsic motivation, support student investment in
learning, nurture student self-efficacy and other positive academic beliefs.
Students’ Emotions
Connect to student interest, pique curiosity, foster a sense of belonging and class
connections, diminish anxiety, and increase enjoyment in learning.
Learning Strategies
Cognitive Strategies
Directly teach knowledge and skills that support student learning and deep
processing of valuable information (e.g., summarizing, inferring, applying, and
Metacognitive Strategies
Directly teach students to monitor, regulate, and evaluate their own cognitive
processes, strengths, and weaknesses as learners; teach them about when,
where, why, and how to use specific strategies.
Behavioral Strategies
Directly teach students strategies and tactics for managing, monitoring, and
evaluating their action, motivation, affect, and environment, such as skills in:
time management, test taking, help-seeking, note-taking, homework
Social-Contextual Factors
School Climate
Academic Emphasis
Set high expectations for your students and encourage the whole school to do the same;
emphasize positive relations with the school community.
Teacher Variables
If possible, teach in a school with the positive qualities of collective efficacy, teacher
empowerment, sense of affiliation.
Principal Leadership
If possible, teach in a school with the positive qualities of collegiality, high morale, and
clearly conveyed goals.
Parental Involvement
Support parents in supporting their children’s learning.
Peer Influences
Create class and school norms that honor achievement, encourage peer support, and
discourage peer conflict.
Other References
Corno, L. (2008). On teaching adaptively. Educational Psychologist, 43, 161–
Crosnoe, R., Morrison, F., Burchinal, M., Pianta, R., Keating, D., Friedman, S.
L., & Clarke-Stewart, K. A. (2010). Instruction, teacher–student relations,
and math achievement trajectories in elementary school. Journal of
Educational Psychology, 102, 407–417.
Hamre, B. K., & Pianta, R. C. (2001). Early teacher–child relationships and
the trajectory of children’s school outcomes through eighth grade. Child
Development, 72, 625–638.
Roorda, D. L., Koomen, H. M. Y., Spilt, J. L., Oort, F. J. (2011). The influence
of affective teacher–student relationships on students’ school
engagement and achievement: A meta-analytic approach, Review of
Educational Research, 81, 493-529.