Characteristics of accomplished teaching

Traits of excellent teachers
Some characteristics of competence in teaching have emerged as a result of research into what separates average, good and great teachers. These attributes are not all found in every good teacher, but good teachers likely exhibit several of the traits.  A pattern of what it takes to be an outstanding teacher emerges from examining a compilation of lists, traits, characteristics, and descriptions.

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
What foundation of knowledge, skills, dispositions and beliefs characterizes an accomplished teacher?  The Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a Profession asked that question, and issued a pivotal report, “A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century.”  Their report followed the 1986 report, “A Nation at Risk.”  As a result, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards was formed, with the goal of maintaining high and rigorous standards for what accomplished teachers should know and be able to do.  A national voluntary system that certifies teachers who meet the standards was developed, and a plan to capitalize on the expertise of the National Board Certified Teachers was created.  Although the standards were developed for K-12 teachers, they are based on five core propositions that offer some guidance about what constitutes accomplished higher education teaching.

Faculty professional development
New faculty members have many resources to help them become outstanding teachers. Most campuses provide some sort of faculty support, and many have centers dedicated to offering professional development opportunities. These may include workshops on new teaching technologies, use of innovative teaching practices, campus services that support teaching and learning, assessment strategies, and more.  Many centers sponsor teaching awards, support dissemination of knowledge about teaching and learning, and highlight faculty teaching accomplishments in a variety of ways.  Professional associations and organizations similarly offer opportunities for enrichment that provide continual education for improvement.

Professional Teaching Standards

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS)
This site offers the history and details of services offered by NBPTS.

NBPTS Core Propositions
Five core propositions form the foundation and frame the rich amalgam of knowledge, skills, depositions and beliefs that characterize National Board Certified Teachers.

Centers for Faculty Development

CSU Faculty Development Centers
California State University
The centers offer numerous professional development opportunities for faculty to improve their teaching.

Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning
Indiana University Northwest
A compilation of teaching tips and principles from numerous top institutions, including general teaching, assessment and evaluation, learner-centered instruction and active learning, diversity and inclusive teaching, instructional technology and teaching online, evaluating, researching and documenting your teaching, and the scholarship of teaching and learning.

Good Teaching
Centre for Development of Teaching and Learning, National University of Singapore.
This website contains a compiled list of Good Teaching Practices from universities around the world.

Information Briefs on Teaching

Fast Facts for Faculty
ADA Coordinator’s Office website, Developed through a partnership grant at Ohio State University 
These publications are information briefs designed to help college and university instructors improve the climate and quality of education for students with disabilities.  The pedagogical recommendations included are not only helpful for students with disabilities, but are also good teaching practices that are useful for most of your students.

Characteristics of Effective Professors

Characteristics and Traits of an Effective Professor
Martinazzi, R. & Samples, J. (2000). Paper presented at IEEE, an engineering professional association (October). Engineering department, University of Pittsburg
This study outlines specific personal and classroom traits and competencies that describe an effective professor.

Top 11 Traits of a Good Teacher
Haskvitz, A., Reach every student, Horace Mann
This site refers to teachers of all age students, and offers insights from a number of other countries.

Essays on Effective Teaching

Good Teaching, Tools for Teaching
Davis, B.G. (2009). Jossey-Bass, San Francisco, California
The second edition of a bestseller, a compendium of classroom-tested strategies and suggestions designed to improve the teaching practices of all college instructors, including beginning, mid-career, and senior faculty members.

The Concept of Good Teaching in Universities Around the World
Ballantine, J. & King, E.W (1990). Speeches/Meeting Papers, ERIC full text
The paper’s hypothesis is that higher education has universal value, but is serving different primary purposes in different societies and political contexts.  The concept of “good teaching” is explored in interviews with 18 professors from 12 countries.

Essays on Teaching Excellence
O’Connor Chandler, E., & Editor. POD Network. University of Chicago
These essays are available on an annual subscription basis, with abstracts available here.  They are thoughtful and useful viewpoints from which college teachers can look at their practice of instruction.  They express a range of views supported by current research.

Collaborative Preparing Future Faculty Network
Graduate Teacher Program, University of Colorado
COPFFN’s mission is to improve the preparation of graduate students for roles as faculty in postsecondary institutions by benefiting from the wisdom and experience of faculty in other academic institutions in the state

Publications on College Teaching

The Journal of Excellence in College Teachings
Miami University
This peer reviewed journal provides an opportunity to share proven innovative pedagogies and thoughtful, inspirational insights on teaching.

Innovative Higher Education
Institute of Higher Education, University of Georgia
Now in its 35th year of publication, this revered scholarly journal has goals of describing innovators focused on teaching and students, open to diverse methods and forms of scholarship, and aimed at striking a balance between practice and theory.

The Teaching Professor Blog
This blog is dedicated to issues of interest to professors with a passion for teaching.

Selected Journals on College Teaching
Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL), Illinois State University
These discipline-specific pedagogical journals are more than half composed of articles on college teaching.

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