Thinking about Teacher Effectiveness: How do Teacher Appraisers make 'Gut Feeling' Rankings?


  • Julia Horring
  • Judy Paterson
  • Bill Barton


As part of a larger research project, seven trainee mathematics teachers completing a one year post-graduate secondary teaching diploma were observed teaching two lessons each. The researchers, who were experienced mathematics teachers, ranked the pre-service teachers in terms of their future effectiveness using two methods of ranking. One involved an observation schedule derived from behaviours associated with effective teacher research. The other required the two researchers to make a 'gut feeling' ranking of the pre-service teachers. An investigation of the 'gut feeling' ranking showed that it could be explained using standard teacher effectiveness models. The correlations between the two rankings were high, raising some interesting questions to be investigated using larger samples.

Author Biographies

Julia Horring

Judy Paterson

Bill Barton