The Qualities of Excellent Teachers and Skills of Successful Students

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Psychology Semester 2
Essay 1

“The Qualities of Excellent Teachers and Skills of Successful Students”

It is beyond the scope of this essay to include everything about the topic of what are a good teacher’s qualities and students skill that could affect, and give a good understanding of the relationship with academic success, because there is not a great deal of research to support both issues. However, a survey done by Adelaide Bradford College students showed that they had preferences about which qualities excellent teachers had, and which skills successful students should have, and why the top three teacher qualities were important. Excellent teachers, according to Hattie (2003) and the Minnesota University (2006), should have a positive attitude, good problem solving skills, monitoring of student progress, have high respect for students, and be passionate about teaching and learning. Hattie (2003) also claimed that teachers explained only 30% of student success and that students explained 50% of their success. Home, peers, school and principal each explained only 5% each of student success. The four goals of psychology, describe, explain, predict and control, and two psychological approaches (cognitive eg attitude, and behaviour eg, studies hard) provide a good understanding about this topic. The essay begins with a discussion on the connection between psychology, research and the survey by describing the qualities of teachers and students, explaining why these qualities are important for student success, predicting what outcomes might be if teachers and students were excellent or not, and finally suggesting ways that teachers and students can control thinking and behaviours to achieve better results. This analysis will demonstrate the process of improving the relationship between teaching and learning. Results will demonstrate a perspective of how to develop successful relationships between students and teachers. The main research question is “Can good skilled teachers help to achieve good eduction for students with and without high study qualities”.

From first grade, students and teachers try to find relative aspects that could help them achieve better communication and a good understanding of the subject.

Teaching is like no other profession. Unfortunately, not everyone who is a teacher should necessarily be one. It all depends on what skills could be of value to students. The survey completed by twenty-seven students, showed which a qualities and skills students chose as being most important, those that may or may not help them achieve success in their studies.

The most important quality of excellent teachers was a thorough knowledge of subject matter. This means that teachers should simply know what they talking about when teaching and what are important and what not. A good example could be when working in a big corporation which sells items. Because of poor selling skills, the business cannot sell any thing and the business loses money. It’s the same with teachers because their job is to teach, they sell their knowledge, and if student can’t “buy it” understand it, then the teacher might not be good enough to teach.

The second most important teacher’s quality was having lessons well prepared, well organized, and it was chosen by 55% of students as being very important. When a teacher comes to class unprepared, they will not be able to keep the students’ interest in what they are trying to say and their speech would be chaotic. The teacher’s eduction program would not meet student expectations or produce good levels of achievement, and students could drop the subject. However, there are also teachers who most of the time come to class unprepared but keep students interested in the subject. These teachers look at how to improve a student’s attitudes towards studying, and use activities that may help them with study.

Finally, the last quality was effective communication/effective listening chosen by 50 % of students as very important. There are teaching programs that could help teachers with their communication skills. Effective communication helps with developing friendship and makes students feel a connection between them and the information that a teacher wants to teach. Students feel more open to ask questions when teachers communicate and listen to students.

The student population is growing, survey and result showed that the necessary skill for teachers to achieve student success mainly understood subject matter. Student who chose those qualities could be pressure of the influence of different environments. They could luck some of the skills but didn’t have problems with, when they where in their country origin of (eg: language communication skills). However they may find results new problems, mainly because they had not experienced them before. Survey shown that students from different countries could have the same study problems or similarities; it may suggest that learning new information could have the same influence on students from distinct cultures.

In order to better understand the relationship between teachers and students,the four goals of psychology (describe, explain, predict and control) can identify major sources of a problem and show how different influences affect achievement, which good qualities and skills may affect effective learning. Starting with Describe: the qualities and skills needed for academic success are situated in both students and teachers. When teachers teach effectively, students will learn from them, and when learning doesn’t appear, new strategies have to be found. The second goal is Explain: teaching is one of the greatest challenges, and effective learning assumes there was a good connection between teachers and students. A good example is that of a speech given by a philosopher: “Good teaching isn\'t about technique. I\'ve asked students around the country to describe their good teachers to me. Some of them describe people who lecture all the time, some of them describe people who do little other than facilitate group process, and others describe everything in between. But all of them describe people who have some sort of connective capacity, who connect themselves to their students, their students to each other, and everyone to the subject being studied (Karen Horney, 2001)”. The third goal is Predict: can students recognize an excellent teacher? For many years’ people, philosophers, and scientists have tried to find a definition of a good teacher and what qualities should they have. It is possible to predict what would happened if students had “perfect” teachers. Students would feel an intense learning experience and then also teach themselves, because that is where the feedback comes from. Good teaching connects to good learning and students are more likely to pass their exams. On the other hand, if teachers don’t know how motivate their “pupils” to study, or more importantly how to learn, their job of being a teacher would not be well or correctly done. The last goal Control: refers to how students and teachers could improve themselves, change attitudes and behaviours. Both students and teachers need time to master their skills. There are many possible solutions on how this connection between students and teachers could be improved. Results from the Bradford student survey showed that all of the qualities, understanding, motivation, clear instructions, lessons well prepared and patience were all important, and that each student had their own preferences. All of these qualities lead to one major attribution that if teachers treated students the same way teachers wanted to be treated students could achieve good teacher’s relationships and learn more.

Using the two psychological approaches (cognitive and behavioural) showed differences in how students thought and behaved, and how these affected their studies. According to the survey, a result of 71 % showed that students thought that studying hard (cognitive approach) would improve their learning. Good time management scored 82 % and using English always scored 49 % showing that students understood how they needed to behave to improve in their subject. Using the two approaches may provide fundamental information for teachers to see how their students react to what they are doing/teaching, and how students work (essays, homework or class attendances), contributes, with erudite teachers, to student success. Academic success would be likely if students enjoyed learning and also got positive feedback. It is very important to use those goals and approaches rather than relying only on what the people think.

It is necessary to take into consideration the requirement of construction preparation for young people for their future education. Four goal of psychology and two approaches help to understand why teachers are a pathway for students to achieve their success. Researches being involved in an essay showed how an important good quality was due to in teachers and which students preferred qualities. However, according to Hattie (2003) 50% of a student’s success was themselves and 30% was their teachers. The other 20% are environment and development of study skills. It is possible to predict student’s success by comparing qualities of teacher’s student qualities. For example when there is an excellent teacher and good student thus would be the best combination. The worst combination would be when there was not a good teacher and a student who did not want to learn at all. When qualities of students do not mach the professional qualities of the teacher. Students could control behaviour in different ways. For example could talk about their problem with a teacher, attend study skills, and get help from other students. It is reasonable to expect that teachers could do something about this too. For example be prepared for their lectures, get feedback from students, and motivate students by providing different ways of learning. Mentors could also try to match the qualities selected by students as being most important. All those attributions of excellent teachers and good students could have benefits for both. For teachers because they where doing their job well, and for students because they achieved the results that satisfied them and would enable them to continue role trying to do anything to achieve success. Results show that teachers and students both need to do their job well, and that one without the other causes problems. In other words, excellent teachers alone do not guarantied successful students.


Borg, W.R. & Ascione, F.R. 1982, Journal of Education Psychology “Classroom management in elementary mainstreaming classrooms”, 74, p. 85-97.

Bradford College Student Survey, results 17/02/2006, done by 27 students (with different age, country and view for good qualities for both student and teacher.)

Brown, G. 1975, “Microteaching: a programme of teaching skills”, Methuen, London.

Department of Education and Science, 1983, “Teaching quality”, Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, London.

Ewans, N. 1976 “Transition to Teaching”, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York.

Flanders, N.A. 1970, “Analysing teacher’s behaviour”, Addison-Wesley, Massachusetts.

Hattie, J. 2003, “Teachers make a Difference, What is the research evidence”, Australian Council for Educational Research, Australia.

Horney, K 2001, “Nowe drogi w psychoanalizie”, Dom Wydawniczy Rebis, Poznan, Poland.

Minnesota State University Mankato, “What makes a Good Teacher Article”, viewed 10/02/2006, .

Vallance, R. 2000, “Excellent Teachers: Exploring Self-Constructs, Role, and Personal Challenges”, University of Noter Dame, Australia .

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