ETFO on effectiveness of specialist teachers
Researched and written by Dr Katina Pollock and Michael Mindzak (2015) for the ETFO, the following is reproduced from the Executive Summary, page 1
“Specialist teachers in the arts (including music) are shown to contribute to the development of students and display greater self-efficacy and ability in arts education compared with generalists. Physical education specialists also appear to provide stronger instruction, improve student performance and display stronger instructional strategies. The importance of such specialists is noted with growing concerns surrounding children’s health and wellness in recent years. Teacher-librarians, along with a strong school library program, also appear to positively impact student achievement and success. However, such specialists face growing uncertainty in Ontario regarding their work and the evolution of the school library in the digital age. Specialist teachers in mathematics, science and technology all appear to show promise in being able to improve student achievement and classroom learning. Such findings are significant for Ontario, especially as improved mathematics achievement has been identified as a key priority, by the Ministry of Education. Specialist teachers in auxiliary roles, such as instructional coaches, appear to be an effective professional development model for improving teacher specialist knowledge. Finally, guidance teacher/counsellors also contribute to learning and improved outcomes as well as the socio-emotional health and safety of students. Overall, the literature surrounding specialist teachers in a range of content areas appears to support the claim that specialist teachers can positively impact student achievement and contribute to student success at the elementary level.”
Reproduced from the backgrounder, page 3, ” Research confirms that the knowledge and expertise of teacher-librarians and specialist teachers make an important contribution to the quality of elementary education, both in terms of academic success and in terms of students’ broader emotional, physical, cognitive, personal and social development.”
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