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Study suggests children are able to spot effective teachers

MONDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2010 18:05 PM

Government officials have been looking to push education reform as a way to boost test scores, but some teachers have voiced their opinions that the new reforms have been going about it the wrong way.

However, a recent research effort funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation discovered that one of the ways to determine what works in the classroom is to ask the students themselves.

Researchers ranked all the teachers using statistical methods based on test scores to calculate how much the teacher was able to help his or her students.

Now, the researchers are taking that data and surveying students about how their educators rank. The answers were reviewed through confidential questionnaires, and the study found that student perceptions of their teachers' strengths and weaknesses were consistent across the board.

The study noted that student feedback is rare for secondary schools, which could be a reason for the researchers being able to come up with their results. It could be useful for other researchers to use students as a way to determine one's instructional abilities.