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Excellent teaching a key for student success

24 June 2004 Media Statement

Excellent teaching a key for student success

Education Minister Trevor Mallard congratulated 20 early childhood education, primary and secondary teachers who received "Excellence in Teaching" awards at Parliament today.

"Excellent teaching really does matter. The people being acknowledged here today are making a significant contribution to ensuring New Zealand’s young people get a high quality education," Trevor Mallard said.

"The ASG Friendly Society awards are also for the first time going to excellent teachers in early childhood education. Our government is investing heavily in this area - so its great to see that these awards also recognise how important quality early childhood education is for children and their educational success later in life.

"We know from national and international research that quality teaching is the most important influence on student achievement within the school environment. Studies show that as much as 60 per cent of the variation in student achievement is directly related to differences in teaching.

"That's why as a government we are putting a lot of emphasis on supporting and helping teachers to be quality teachers -through professional development and also through new resources and research which give teachers 'best practice' information about what works on the ground for our students.

"The research tells us that excellent teachers share four main characteristics.

"They have very high expectations that students can succeed, regardless of who they are or where they come from. They know their subject very well - they know what to teach. Thirdly, excellent teachers know how to teach very well using a variety of strategies depending on students’ experiences and prior knowledge.

"Fourthly, excellent teachers care, and are able to relate to each and every student in a way that clearly shows the student that they care about them and what happens to them.

"Excellent teaching makes a real difference to young people’s lives. The award recipients are role models for one of our most important professions. I hope they continue to share their experience and knowledge with their peers," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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