What makes a favorite teacher

What makes a good teacher?

Findings from the Hatti study

A milestone in empirical educational research is the study by John Hatti: "Making learning visible".

For this study, over 15 years of work, Hatti evaluated over 800 meta-analyzes from the field of English-language educational science. It is immense work that sums up education studies over 40 years. The key message of the study was often shortened somewhat with "It depends on the teacher". What this actually means should be examined with regard to adult didactics in the DaZ / DaF area. According to the Hatti study, a successful education is not just about the teacher, but the attitude of the teacher. That's a big difference. A successful (DaZ / DaF) teacher is one in which specialist competence, pedagogical competence and didactic competence interact.

Hatti speaks of an “expert teacher” and does not mean a teacher who is simply equipped with specialist knowledge, but rather the person who succeeds in entering into a dialogue with the participants (students). Such a teacher's actions are characterized by care, control, and clarity. The lessons offer challenges for the participants and not ready-made solutions. Passion is the keyword - a passionate teacher who manages to make the proverbial spark jump over is the secret recipe for successful educational work. The tasks set by an expert teacher stimulate the application of the knowledge acquired. He succeeds in practically nudging the participants, in transferring what they have already learned to previously unknown facts, in looking for clues himself, in being or becoming curious.

Non-experts, on the other hand, often limit themselves to tasks in which what they have learned only needs to be reproduced. "Know your influence!" becomes a key phrase through the Hatti study and means that successful teachers ask about the effects of their own actions and look for corresponding “empirical” evidence. In this process, the dialogue between course leaders and participants (teacher - pupil) is an extremely important element. Feedback as well as the awareness that mistakes (also on the part of the course instructors) are not a shame, but important information on the way to a successful learning process, are like the barometer of the course events. Lessons are not a one-way street, but an intensive dialogue between learners and course leaders.

Our blog author: Anke Kuhnecke