|• There is a lack of agreement about what constitutes good teaching in higher education.|
|• The validity, reliability, and generality of the data that both have been and are likely to continue being used to evaluate teaching are uncertain.|
Yet, there can be almost universal agreement about whether a particular individual is a good teacher or a poor one. Some implications of these conclusions, particularly for persons seeking tenure, are indicated in this chapter.
A necessary condition for determining how close a goal is to being achieved is being able to define how someone who has achieved it both would and would not behave. Consequently, a necessary condition for determining how well a candidate for tenure is teaching is being able to define how someone would behave who is regarded as being a great teacher or an extremely poor one—the extremes on the teaching quality continuum. While there have been many attempts to define what constitutes good teaching at the college level, there is no consensus regarding a set of criteria for judging its presence and absence. Yet, students and others appear to believe that they are able to recognize both.