Bill & Melinda Gates foundation invested in studying the very very good teachers. We have been working with 3,000 teachers in districts across the country on a project called measures of effective teaching.
We took 20,000 hours of teachers’ videos and looked at various measures; what were they doing differently. We’ve created a lot of model districts. We had observers, their peers,evaluators, watch videos of teachers in the classroom and write how they did, observing, giving feedback.
For example, did they ask their students challenging questions: Did they find multiple ways to explain an idea. We also had students fill out surveys with questions like, does your teacher know when the class understands a lesson? Do you learn to correct your mistakes?
The results were very good. What we found is very exciting. First the teachers who did well on these observations had far better student outcomes. So it tells us we’re asking the right questions. Second, teachers in the program told us that these videos and these surveys from the students were very helpful diagnostic tools, because they pointed to specific places where they can improve.
If we could get it adopted currently and scale it up it would start to move the the dropout rate and the math and reading achievements.