Klemow. K. M. 1990. Attributes of an Outstanding Teacher: Results of a Survey at Wilkes University.Contributed paper: Pennsylvania Academy of Science meeting. Abstract: Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 63:217.

Considerable attention has recently been given to the quality of education in the U.S. However, the traits that characterize a teacher or a course as being "outstanding" are poorly understood. To that end, 660 undergraduates and 96 faculty at Wilkes University were surveyed to better identify those attributes that make a professor outstanding, in the view of each group. For incoming freshmen, the three most frequently mentioned traits were: a caring attitude toward each student's achievement, an ability to understand each student's problems, and friendliness. For sophomores, juniors and seniors, the three most frequently mentioned traits were: an ability to explain the material well, a thorough knowledge of the subject, and a caring attitude toward each student's achievement. Interestingly, the three traits listed most often by Wilkes faculty were the same as those listed by the upperclassmen, except that the faculty cited a thorough knowledge about the subject most frequently. The results of the survey suggest, first, that the perceptions of students change substantially during their freshman year, but that they remain fairly constant afterwards, and second, that upperclassmen and faculty share similar views concerning the specific qualities that make a professor outstanding.

This page posted and maintained by Kenneth M. Klemow, Ph.D., Biology Department, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766. (570) 408-4758, kklemow@wilkes.edu.