Bill Gates on “Why everyone needs a coach”

Teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world.  But as Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft points out, teachers hardly get feedback. 
 
Speaking specifically about the education system Bill details why we all need feedback to improve.
 
Australia currently ranks 9th in the world when it comes to reading proficiency.   Shanghai ranks in 1st place.  Although it is problematic to compare such different systems there are things worth reflecting on.
 
Shanghai has a formal system to help teachers constantly improve their craft by:

  • Giving younger teachers the chance to watch master teachers at work
  • Attending weekly study groups where teachers get together and talk about what’s working
  • Requiring each teacher to observe and give feedback to their colleagues

Why is a system like that important?

There is tremendous variation in the teaching profession.  Some teachers are far more effective than others and help their students make extraordinary gains while others get much lower results.
 
If average teachers could become as good as these extraordinary teachers, student learning outcomes would be vastly improved.

You can watch Bill’s talk at http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_teachers_need_real_feedback.html
It’s only 10 minutes and well worth it.
 
Enjoy.

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