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What Differentiates Expert Teachers From Others?

Updated on February 24, 2015

An expert teacher understands critical ideas, and knows different ways of presenting them and points out the existing relations between various ideas. Critical or key ideas refer to a fundamental idea that is rooted in mathematical sciences. This key idea is also interrelated with other ideas and is normally developed from childhood experiences through formal schooling and college education (Steen, 1990). Further, an expert teacher understands how to make a plan in a careful manner. Such a teacher also knows the strategies to deploy in teaching each particular concept. The plans include understanding and identifying key skills and concepts as well as the problems that may be encountered when using these skills and concepts.

Another inherent element in expert teachers is that they do have an understanding that the student’s prior knowledge is a critical factor in constructive learning. In addition, these teachers are capable of ascertaining the prior knowledge of their learners and hence, tailor their teaching strategies accordingly. The other knowledge for expert teachers extends far beyond simply academic knowledge into the pedagogical subject knowledge. This is the capability of presenting core concepts in a way that suits student’s prior learning, as well as their capability. This knowledge is not developed overnight, but takes a number of years.

Further, expert teachers understand the essentiality of feedback and monitoring. In this light, these teachers always endeavor to obtain feedback on their learner’s understanding and class performance. This feedback and monitoring is critical as it informs them on how best to adapt their teaching strategies in ensuring that the ideas are passed across (Hattie, 2003).


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