How teachers think about their work: the first step in defining quality teachers
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This study examines and compares the language and discourse utilized by quality teachers to the language and discourse of teachers who need improvement. This study assumes that quality teachers think about teaching differently than teachers in need of improvement. Language and discourse provides a framework for teachers to conceptualize the characteristics of a quality teacher. This study also seeks to demonstrate the capabilities of Interactive Qualitative Analysis (IQA), a systems approach to qualitative research developed by Norvell Northcutt and Danny McCoy. Previous teacher studies have been based on pedagogy, management, educational attainments and certification. This researcher suspects that teachers themselves can best identify the characteristics of a quality teacher. Since teachers come to the profession with similar training and credentials, the burning question still remains: what make one teacher a quality teacher and the other needs improvement? The purpose of this study is to investigate how quality teachers and needs improvement teachers perceive teaching differently. The results of this study indicate a significant disparity between the two groups. The results also provide a structure, which seeks to capture the lived reality of the participants; this study reveals a universal system describing the dynamics and differences of quality teachers and needs improvement teachers. Thus, lending a tool for the diagnosis of problems or predictions pertaining to teacher quality.