Title

Personal attributes of quality technical education and training teachers in Singapore

Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

School

School of Education

Faculty

Faculty of Education and Arts

Abstract

Candidates who meet the prerequisites for teaching may still lack the ‘x’ factor to be a quality teacher. The objective of this portfolio is to tease out the personal attributes and identify behavioural descriptors of these attributes of the quality Technical Education and Training (TET) teachers in Singapore. The study is located within the Institute of Technical Education (ITE), the national institution responsible for TET in Singapore.

From a review of literature on school-related factors that impact on student achievement such as funding, governance, class size, etc., the most influential factor is that of teacher quality. The quality teacher produces better student outcomes and the effects stay with the students over several years. ITE is presented as an example of a quality TET institution.

The conceptual framework which underpins the portfolio comprises of the three dimensions of the quality teacher: teacher prerequisites, teaching practices and teacher personal attributes.

From the literature review, it could be concluded that the prerequisites that matter are literacy and more specifically, verbal ability; a few years of teaching experience; content focused teacher professional development for middle and high school mathematics; and making entry to teacher training highly selective.

The literature indicates that in the area of teaching practice, the effective teacher demonstrates flexibility and adeptness in the use of various strategies in classroom management and organisation, instruction planning and organising, instruction implementation and monitoring progress and potential to promote student learning. She also reflects on her practice. The literature on personal attributes is rather limited.

A qualitative approach was adopted for the investigation with some elements of quantification through the focus groups and interviews. This allowed for the voices of the participants to be heard. The first part of the study involved focus group meetings with six groups or a total of 19 students. The second part involved interviews with six teachers. Data from both sources were analysed and compared. Three broad themes linking student feelings and teacher attributes were proposed.

The conclusion reached from the study is that the quality TET teacher possesses the following personal attributes: Encouraging, Inspiring, Motivator; Caring; Friendly, Approachable; Passion for Teaching. The corresponding behaviours have also been identified. Recommendations for the management of ITE and further research are also proposed.

LCSH Subject Headings

Edith Cowan University. Faculty of Education and Arts -- Dissertations

Technical education teachers -- Singapore

Teacher effectiveness -- Singapore

Dissertations

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