Qualities of an effective teacher: what do medical teachers think?
BMC Med Educ. 2013;13:128
Authors: Singh S, Pai DR, Sinha NK, Kaur A, Soe HH, Barua A
BACKGROUND: Effective teaching in medicine is essential to produce good quality doctors. A number of studies have attempted to identify the characteristics of an effective teacher. However, most of literature regarding an effective medical teacher includes student ratings or expert opinions. Furthermore, interdisciplinary studies for the same are even fewer. We did a cross-sectional study of the characteristics of effective teachers from their own perspective across medicine and dentistry disciplines.
METHODS: A questionnaire comprising of 24 statements relating to perceived qualities of effective teachers was prepared and used. The study population included the faculty of medicine and dentistry at the institution. Respondents were asked to mark their response to each statement based on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree. These statements were grouped these into four main subgroups, viz. Class room behaviour/instructional delivery, interaction with students, personal qualities and professional development, and analysed with respect to discipline, cultural background, gender and teaching experience using SPSS v 13.0. For bivariate analysis, t-test and one way ANOVA were used. Multiple linear regression for multivariate analysis was used to control confounding variables.
RESULTS: The top three desirable qualities of an effective teacher in our study were knowledge of subject, enthusiasm and communication skills. Faculty with longer teaching experienced ranked classroom behaviour/instructional delivery higher than their less experienced counterparts. There was no difference of perspectives based on cultural background, gender or discipline (medicine and dentistry).
CONCLUSION: This study found that the faculty perspectives were similar, regardless of the discipline, gender and cultural background. Furthermore, on review of literature similar findings are seen in studies done in allied medical and non-medical fields. These findings support common teacher training programs for the teachers of all disciplines, rather than having separate training programs exclusively for medical teachers. Logistically, this would make it much easier to arrange such programs in universities or colleges with different faculties or disciplines.
PMID: 24044727 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]