What is a 'good teacher'? : the views of boys.
The uniform view of 1800 secondary school boys, from 60 South Australian schools balanced across all sectors, is that a 'good teacher' changes everything. In focus group discussions, the views of boys about their declining rates of achievement and retention, quickly turn to teachers. They are profoundly clear about the direct and indirect connections they see between teachers and their own ability to deal with, and to gain control of, other factors influencing both their likelihood of staying at school and their level of achievement. Frequently, the boys ask, with puzzlement and the expectation of an answer that they have been unable to find, why teachers simply can't 'relax', 'loosen up', 'cool it', and 'listen to our view on things'. This paper presents their views about what constitutes a 'good teacher', about ways in which teachers can establish effective educative relationships with boys, and why, with 'good teachers', boys say, 'we want to work' and 'there is not a lot of muckin around' and 'we want to achieve more'. [Author abstract]
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