There are hundreds of ways to make sure your classroom is running as effectively as possible—from setting rules to establishing relationships with students. But if you’re new to teaching—or could use a fresh start in your classroom—where do you start?
In your studies, you’ll no doubt hear the name Robert Marzano. A leading educational researcher and authored or co-author of more than 40 books and 150 articles, Marzano has provided a model for teaching effectiveness that many educators refer to during their practice. His Marzano Research website outlines his strategies and gives teachers and administrators tools to help teachers become more effective. He also created an evaluation tool to measure the success of highly effective teachers.
Below, you’ll find an overview of his teachings and how you can employ his strategies.
According to his research data, good, effective teachers:
To elaborate: Marzano believes that teachers who set goals and check for understanding will be effective. Teachers should also give positive feedback for student progress. If students don’t understand, a teacher should need to go back and re-teach certain concepts. He also suggests that teachers should help students interact with new information by chunking smaller sections and then checking for understanding, using media, making predictions, and responding in writing. The more engagement and ownership of the learning, the more students will retain.
Marzano teacher effectiveness also includes the use of games and simulations to encourage student interest. He believes students should be physically active, encounter friendly controversy, and relate content to their own lives. Establishing rules and procedures at the beginning of the year will create a classroom atmosphere that fosters learning, and of course, creating effective and appropriate relationships with students are also key to teacher effectiveness.
Communicating high expectations in this arena is another aspect of Marzano teacher effectiveness. Encouraging all students to participate in the simulation and games will help ensure everyone in the classroom is learning. And again, the more you can connect a lesson to real-world situations, the more effective the lesson will be. Teachers, he says, should also be aware of their own bias. First, identify students of whom you have low expectations. Next, identify those students with similarities. Third, identify different treatment for low-expectation students and finally, make a conscious decision to treat all students the same.
One of Marzano’s most important domains for teacher improvement is classroom strategies and behavior. Marzano believes that teachers need to choose areas of improvement throughout the year and administrators should be responsible for providing opportunities to observe effective strategies of other teachers. Administrators should then provide feedback and dialogue to teachers about how they can become more successful.
Marzano also includes several instructional strategies, including:
Needless to say, both teachers and administrators can benefit from Marzano teaching strategies. You all have the same goal—to give your students the tools they need to be successful in the classroom and beyond.
Looking for other strategies to implement in your classroom? Other strategies of Marzano teacher effectiveness can be found in the book Effective Supervision: Supporting the Art and Science of Teaching.