Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Assessment of Charisma as a Factor in Effective Teaching

Academic journal article Educational Technology & Society

Assessment of Charisma as a Factor in Effective Teaching

Article excerpt

Introduction

This paper describes the development of framework and a student evaluation instrument for use in college settings that can accurately measure a teacher's charisma. While many studies have attempted to identify factors that contribute to teacher effectiveness and teaching quality, the majority are strictly theoretical. Empirical studies are also necessary to advance our understanding of this field. In particular a teacher's charisma is often recognized as an important factor of his or her effectiveness in the classroom, but by its very nature this characteristic is regarded as something that is difficult to define or quantify. Thus a reliable instrument which can accurately measure a teacher's charisma deserves to be developed.

When an instructor establishes a supportive social climate in the classroom, students are more likely to be receptive to learning. The behaviours and attitudes of teachers in teaching are the primary determinant on students' perceptions of service quality in higher education (Hill, Lomas, & MacGregor, 2003; Pozo-Munoz, Rebolloso-Pacheco, & Fernandez-Ramirez, 2000). The teacher has a strong impact on their students, so it is no wonder that researchers suggest that institutions or academic administrators should pay more attention to what students want and should focus on understanding the needs of students (Joseph, Yakhou, & Stone, 2005; Oldfield & Baron, 2000). The feedback from students regarding their perceptions of teaching may help teachers to improve their teaching.

There has been increasing attention on teaching quality and effectiveness internationally, and considerable emphasis on promoting reflection and self-assessment in teachers, unclear what teachers are supposed to reflect on when desiring to become better teachers. Thus, a better framework for assessment may be needed to answer "what is effective teaching?" Whether it is even possible to judge teacher effectiveness outside of direct observations of their teaching remains an open question (Goldhaber & Anthony, 2007). The problem is compounded by many variables, for instance, the recognition of teaching effectiveness, the type of course, class size, student abilities, and grading practices, and so on (Young & Shaw, 1999). Indeed, Young and Shaw (1999) suggest the construct of teacher effectiveness is not only multidimensional but may also require multiple definitions. In the present study, we focused on one key factor--"teaching charisma"--and attempted to identify characteristics manifested in the classrooms of effective teachers that are indicators of charisma.

It is common to hear that some teacher is so welcome or popular that students like to attend his/her class. There may be some quality that deeply attracts students that not all teachers possess. We call this teaching charisma. The meaning of charisma comes from the Greek word translated as "gift," suggesting that charismatic teachers have special gifts to distribute. It is commonly thought that it is the pleasing personality of the charismatic person that is his/her greatest gift (Raelin, 2006). We define teaching charisma as the positive behaviours of teacher, in the college classroom, which can deeply attract students to learn. A charismatic teacher not only is good in students' perception but has appeal for students.

What are the essential qualities of a charismatic teacher? Certainly, he/she should have the characteristics which are considered to be good or desired to students. Several researchers have attempted to describe a good teacher or students' desires regarding an ideal teacher. For example, Greimel-Fuhrmann and Geyer (2003) pointed out that a good teacher should offer explanations, answer questions, vary their teaching methods, and should be interested in and express concern for their students and their learning progress. Brown (2004) indicated that competent teachers know their subject, are willing to answer questions, are approachable, and also have a sense of humor. …

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