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ERIC Number: ED538810
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 126
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-7254-9
Teacher (In)Competence: An Analysis and Comparison of the Educational, Legal, and Practical Definitions
Ferchen, Megan Hollingsworth
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Kansas
Teacher incompetence and the identification of incompetent teachers have become major educational issues. With the implementation of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), every student is expected to be taught by a "highly qualified" teacher. Although "highly qualified" does not guarantee competent teaching, the two often go hand-in-hand. The purpose of this study is to identify, analyze and compare the definitions of teacher incompetence according to educational literature, case law, and Missouri school districts' evaluation documents. The major emphasis within the educational literature was on the characteristics of a competent teacher. Some of the key traits of a competent teacher included effective classroom management skills, content knowledge in the subject(s) taught, effective instructional processes and use of assessments, and active participation in professional development. Within the case law, findings of incompetence sufficient to support dismissal were generally based on a lack of classroom management skills, ineffective lesson delivery, poor communication with parents and students, non-compliance with school and district protocols, and the inability to make corrections when deficiencies in these areas were addressed. The school district evaluation documents examined were from school districts in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area. These Performance-Based Teacher Evaluation documents focused on teacher competence, rather than incompetence, mainly noting specific behaviors administrators were to look for during an evaluation. The expectations were very similar to those identified within the educational literature and also included items such as creating an effective learning environment, a prepared and knowledgeable presentation of information, establishment of positive relationships within the education community, and involvement in professional development. Although the three systems approached the topic of teacher competence in very different ways, many similarities and some differences were easily identified. This study suggests that there are six main qualities of a competent teacher: classroom management and the environment, lesson planning and preparation, content knowledge, instructional techniques, interpersonal relationships and communication skills, and professional development. A competent teacher displays strength in each of the above areas and an understanding on what is necessary to help students succeed. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001