Effective teachersThe quality of education depends on whether teachers are effective or not. For this reason, Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, reached into his pockets to help improve the quality of teachers in the United States through his charitable foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Gates is working to improve the quality of education in the United States through the foundation.
“It is amazing how big a difference a great teacher makes versus an ineffective one,” Gates said in his first annual letter to his donors through the foundation’s official Web site on Jan. 31.
According to Gates, the success of education reform highly depends on the effectiveness of teachers.
We should learn from Gates. If we are complacent in bringing reforms to raise the standard of teaching, the nation’s public education will not be improved at all. Teachers should do their utmost to increase their competitiveness with a sense of duty and passion.
Sharing good teaching models of certain teachers with others is one useful way to increase the quality of education, as Gates suggested.
One good example is found on the Web site Busanedu.net. Video clips of teachers who received the highest performance ratings are uploaded on the Web site and are benchmarked by other teachers. The video clips are also said to motivate other teachers to develop new teaching skills.
Teachers also should be encouraged to develop themselves through an evaluation system of their performance. Otherwise, inefficient teachers should be filtered out.
A bill for a teacher evaluation system is currently pending at the National Assembly.
Initially, the system was launched with an aim to use the results of teachers’ annual evaluations from their schools, but the system faced harsh criticism from the Korean Teachers and Education Workers’ Union and opposition parties.
If the evaluation results are not used to assess teachers, the system will lose its own function.
If Korea wants to take its public education to the next level by improving the quality of teachers, the teacher evaluation system should be introduced right away.