Exploring the Characteristics of ‘Teachers for Excellence’: Teachers’ Own Perceptions

Aug. 01, 2010

Source: European Journal of Teacher Education, Vol. 33, No. 3, August 2010, 265–277.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This paper aims to identify teacher characteristics which could describe excellent teachers in Scotland. The concept described as ‘teachers for excellence’.

The paper draws on both literature sources and teachers’ descriptions of characteristics of a good teacher, and includes teachers’ views of the relative importance of different characteristics.

Eighty-eight teachers responded to a questionnaire which asked them to rate in importance 44 characteristics of excellent teachers.


The findings of this study reveal that teachers saw teaching as an interaction between practitioners and pupils.

The purpose of the Scottish educators for education includes ideas of success, confidence, responsibility and contribution to society related to all the students within education.
Educationalists think of what formal education should achieve and it is that purpose that has shaped policy, moulded institutions, defined curricula, and will influence pedagogy.

The results of this study seem to suggest that teachers have a clear view of excellence.
The teachers highly rated qualities which demonstrated their expectations of positive classroom ethos and positive relationships with students.
The teachers indicate that they rate communication skills and relationship building as important indicators of excellence. These areas of expertise will enable them to deliver curricula that increasingly demand participative methods and facilitation.

The author claims that teachers should be encouraged to assess their own communication styles and to develop their own skills in classroom interactions.

Furthermore, continuing professional development (CPD) should be centred on developing relationships that emphasise leadership, friendliness, and understanding.

Updated: Dec. 03, 2012