Teacher Expertise

Essential Questions:
  • What does an expert teacher do?
  • Do the strategies expert teachers use, or the habits of mind they have, differ from other teachers?
  • How do the discussions of expert teacher compare in the ACOT study and Berliner’s research?
  • What are the similarities and differences between expertise as defined by Berliner and the ACOT studies?
  • Is the fact that they are done in two varying contexts critical or not?

Berliner’s stages
  1. Novice
  2. Advanced Beginner
  3. Competent
  4. Proficient
  5. Expert

Novice
• Focuses on student discipline and classroom management.
• Sees the trees, but rarely the forest (follows lesson plans even if they aren’t working.)
• Feels lack of control, so often resolves that by blaming students. (I have the hardest/ poorest/least experienced class.)
• Develops teaching repertoire by observing more experienced teachers, personal trial and error or from what they experienced.
Advanced Beginner
• Begins to see patterns in behaviors (both adult and student).
• Still guided by rules, but begins to see when context guides application of them.
• Still tends to blame other factors (home, TV, prior experience) for student performance.
Competent
• Base their behavior on both experience and formal knowledge, don’t rely on personal trial and error as much.
• Develop strategic knowledge of when to apply rules stringently--and when to ignore. (Chooses battles.)
• Begin to actively notice results of feedback--that positive feedback all the time may actually lower expectations.
• Still rely on following the established rules, while becoming more competent in how to recognize and classify contextual conditions and label and describe recurring events.
Proficient
• Global sense and holistic perception of teaching situations
• Consciously assess salient features of encountered problems and apply those analytical decision to effect sensible instructional behaviors
• Recognize learning difficulties as related more to the structure and organization of the lesson.
• More concerned with their knowledge and understanding of essential content and their ability to teach it well.
• Extends teaching repertoire by observing more experienced teachers, personal trial and error or from what they experienced.
Expert
• Intuitive grasp of a situation and seem to sense in non-analytic, non-deliberate ways the appropriate response to make.
• Sort, identify and analyze the essential contingencies with precision and proficiency.
• Establish routines and procedures, rules and strategies to solve problems with maximum efficiency and minimal error.
• Extensive and sophisticated knowledge of the subject matter to be taught.