This essay stresses that the amount of agreement across studies suggests that the characteristics of good teaching are not mysterious or extremely discipline-specific. They can, and have been, identified by researchers, students, and professionals alike. Inspection of these characteristics fails to support another commonly held belief about teaching: “Good teachers are born, not made.” While certain characteristics, such as humor and interpersonal skills, seem to come easily to some people and not others, people are not born with knowledge of a given discipline or competency in the use of instructional strategies. Furthermore, those who exhibit these qualities most consistently state that they work hard at attaining them and are very conscious of their actions and their effects. The process is often carried on without a great deal of conscious attention and rather unsystematically by most teachers. What distinguishes those who learn best, however, is the very level of conscious reflection and the quality of information they bring to bear in determining the effects of a practice in a particular context.
This paper makes a conclusion that a number of writers have observed differences in style among teachers. They classify them according to a number of dimensions that represent how the teachers approach their students, the ways in which they think learning takes place, and personal strengths and preferences. ...Show more