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On Making Determinations of Quality in Teaching


by Gary D. Fenstermacher & Virginia Richardson 2005

This article examines the notion of quality teaching, exploring its conceptual, empirical and normative properties. We begin by analyzing the concept of teaching, separating it into its task sense (what teachers try to do) and its achievement sense (the student learning that teachers foster). The analysis suggests that any determination of quality in teaching must account for both the worthiness of the activity (good teaching) as well as the realization of intended outcomes (successful teaching). Good teaching is not the same as successful teaching, nor does one logically entail the other. For teaching to be both good and successful, it must be conjoined with factors well beyond the range of control of the classroom teacher. The analysis of the concept of teaching is then used to explore three programs of research on teaching: process-product, cognitive science, and constructivist. The article concludes with an analysis of the policy implications of this explication of quality teaching.


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 107 Number 1, 2005, p. 186-213
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 11694, Date Accessed: 11/26/2014 1:30:30 PM

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About the Author
  • Gary Fenstermacher
    University of Michigan

  • Virginia Richardson
    Ann Arbor
    E-mail Author

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