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Determining effective teaching behaviors through the hiring process

Gary Schumacher (University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX, USA)
Bettye Grigsby (University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX, USA)
Winona Vesey (University of Houston-Clear Lake, Houston, TX, USA)

International Journal of Educational Management

ISSN: 0951-354X

Article publication date: 12 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

One bad hiring decision can lead to low student achievement. Research supports that teachers are the most influential factor in student success. As a result, principals’ current practice of hiring teachers based on intuition and likeability must change. Given the current high stakes era, principals need reassurance that the teachers they hire can indeed meet the needs of the students and the goals of the school. The purpose of this paper is to determine which interview protocol questions would predict high levels of effective teaching behaviors exhibited by teachers in the classroom.

Design/methodology/approach

A convenience sample of 600 working teachers responded to a 93-item Likert-scale online questionnaire related to the four domains of effective teaching behaviors: classroom management, organizing instruction, implementing instruction, and monitoring progress and potential. The researchers first analyzed the teacher responses to assess their reliability and validity. A regression analysis was then run to indicate which effective teacher domains (the predictor variables); best predicted average student achievement scores (the outcome variable). Regression analysis was used to predict high-quality teachers (i.e. teachers with high average gain scores) given responses to interview questions (predictor variables).

Findings

Successful teachers in this study utilized multiple strategies when handling the area of classroom management and organization. In the area of organizing instruction, key elements such as the objective, individual or group activities, and assessments were included in the daily lesson plan. The structure of the lesson delivery and the different learning styles of students were considered when planning a lesson. In this research, teachers utilized various instructional strategies when implementing instruction to challenge all learners, accommodate different learning styles, and to ensure student success. Successful teachers in this study monitored student progress and potential using a variety of methods.

Research limitations/implications

The research was conducted in two districts. Future studies could expand on the research using multiple districts in several locations. Data were self-reported by current teachers and cannot be independently verified. Researchers relied on the information provided by teachers and trusted their responses to be accurate. Future studies could include a qualitative piece to determine why monitoring student progress and potential produced a negative result on student performance, classroom management was not significantly related to performance in language arts, and organization for instruction was not significantly related to performance in mathematics.

Originality/value

This longitudinal study will provide hiring authorities with research-based protocols that have proven to predict high levels of teaching quality, which research has shown to be single most important determinant of student achievement.

Keywords

Citation

Schumacher, G., Grigsby, B. and Vesey, W. (2015), "Determining effective teaching behaviors through the hiring process", International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 29 No. 1, pp. 139-155. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-04-2013-0071

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited