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Qualities of effective high school teachers in grades 9–12: Perceptions of high school teachers and administrators from the state of Rhode Island

Patrick J McGee, Johnson & Wales University


Raisin teacher quality has become education reform's top priority (Breaking Ranks II: Strategies for Leading High School Reform, 2004). The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires that states employ only "highly qualified" teachers by the end of the 2005-2006 school year, and research has demonstrated teacher quality is the most important educational factor predicting student achievement (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2003). Sanders and Rivers (1996) indicate that positive and negative impact of a teacher on a student's academic performance is cumulative. Therefore, students with less exposure to qualified teachers seem less likely of achieving academic success than those with more. Given the recurrence of disappointing results on student learning assessments at the national and international levels, too many of America's students do not appear to be receiving enough exposure to qualified teachers (Suh & Fore, 2002). Despite general agreement about the importance of high quality teachers, researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and the public have been unable to reach consensus on exactly what behaviors, and characteristics constitute a good teacher (Rice, 2003). The purpose of this research was to confirm with high school teachers' and administrators' the perceptions of those behaviors and characteristics that constitute effective teaching at the high school level as determined by a DACUM (Developing A Curriculum) panel. The study employed a mixed methods approach that included both a DACUM Research Chart and a questionnaire instrument. The results indicate that there is general agreement between what the DACUM panel and high school teachers and administrators felt were the behaviors and characteristics of effective high school teachers. This research will assist policy makers and educators in improving teacher preparation and induction programs, selecting and hiring of new teachers, providing effective professional development, and improving teacher evaluation instruments.

Subject Area

Secondary education|School administration

Recommended Citation

McGee, Patrick J, "Qualities of effective high school teachers in grades 9–12: Perceptions of high school teachers and administrators from the state of Rhode Island" (2006). Dissertation & Theses Collection. AAI3234956.