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Summary, Critical Evaluation and Reflection on What Makes Effective Teachers Effective?

Honey Lun Sian Cing

International Teachers College


Summary: What Makes Effective Teachers Effective? by James H. Stronge and Xiansuan Xu

is about highlighting the importance of a strong and solid foundation of educational research,

critical decisions in teacher professional development (p.6) First it talked about how why we

should care about what makes a Teacher effective. In this topic, they talked through about

teachers impact on student learning and the classroom teaching strategies. It specifically

mentioned that teachers must open the black box of the classroom and peer inside (p.7) to

focus on what matters most for student success. They also elaborated deeply about how the

Teachers Skills and Practices Affect Student Achievement, Instructional Planning and Delivery,

Assessment of/for Learning, and What Makes Good Teachers Good. Through it all, they did

comparison between a novice teacher and a top teacher and their actions as well. They also

showed a chart of the effectiveness, variables and source of influence so that we can observe and

learn the instructions teachers use at the classroom and also to come up with new ideas based on

those variables. However, the authors did not say that the classroom is effective just because the

teacher is effective in certain subject. The authors have ended their article by challenging the

scholars/teachers to realize that the understanding of effective teachers is the target of the

teaching- the students, not the teachers being effective on certain subjects.

Critical Evaluation and Reflection: I have also checked some of the sources the authors used and

I could see that all the sources they used are academically qualified. Just by reading at their

sources, we can be assured that this is a scholarly article. And also this is a Must Read article for

teachers out there who are still struggling with their classrooms. Because of the comparison the

authors had prepared for the readers, the novice teachers could grasp the idea of the actions

behind an effective teachers. While I read it through, I could see myself a lot. The way this

article encourages us is by pointing us our weaknesses but at the same time, encouraging us that

we are not alone and we are still in process. Also, I really enjoyed the fact that the authors

prepared the chart of the impact of teacher practices on student achievement. it gives me a lot of

ideas, techniques and progressive process. One of the topics that challenges me is about What

Makes Good Teachers Good? When I first read it all through, I was encouraged to become an

effective teacher by improving my instructional planning and assessments. However, I was

confused and surprised to see that the message the authors wanted to communicate with us was

not all about developing to be effective, but to become a teacher who knows her students and

knows how to teach. Of course all topics are important. However, the authors assured that no

matter how effective the teachers are, they cannot be fully effective if the teacher could not teach

to the students with different backgrounds and knowledge. At that moment, I realized that

teaching is actually not easy. It is extremely challenging for me to imagine myself to be teaching

all the students and expect them to have the same understandings. Nevertheless, this article is

one of the articles that makes me want to improve as a teacher and an article I would recommend

my juniors and future teachers.