World culture and teacher Quality: Consensus, convergence, and conflict

Gerald K. LeTendre, Alexander W. Wiseman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research has already uncovered a great deal of evidence about the individual and organizational qualities that enhance effective teaching and the kinds of qualifications (attributes) that are associated with effective teaching and learning. From a research perspective, increased precision and specificity in the definition and refinement of specific concepts (e.g., pedagogical content knowledge) will increase academic knowledge about the relationship between teacher characteristics, working conditions, and the quality of instruction that takes place. This knowledge may have little effect on policy formation. From a policy perspective, a holistic or organic conception of teacher quality will be critical for effective policy formation and implementation. At some point, academic knowledge about different aspects of effective or "quality" teaching need to be connected to a general concept of a quality teacher in order to be effectively inserted into policy debates and the general media. Systematic use of academic knowledge is often hindered by either the narrow focus of the research, or by its limited application to actual teacher practice. In spite of these limitations in academic research, there are areas where academics, policymakers, and practitioners have achieved consensus or are converging on shared constructs of promise. In other areas, both academic and political debates seem locked into conflict over constructs related to teacher quality. Identifying these three broad categories of consensus, convergence, and conflict provides a broad framework to assess the kinds of research and the kinds of reform that need to be carried out in order to promote and sustain teachers development and implementation of their professional skills in the classroom.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)467-499
Number of pages33
JournalInternational Perspectives on Education and Society
StatePublished - 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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