4. WMGT emphasised content knowledge; students said teacher enthusiasm matters
Criticism of boring lessons focused on lack of teacher enthusiasm, although it would also be true to say that overuse of anything can cause student fatigue (or Death by Powerpoint Syndrome). A pet hate of students, particularly in top sets, was the phrase ‘you don’t need to know that; it’s not on the syllabus.’ Whilst there is not an automatic correlation between teacher enthusiasm and subject knowledge, it is probable that the most enthusiastic teachers would be those with a “deep knowledge of [and love for] the subjects they teach” which the Sutton Trust identified as a key factor in effective instruction.
Tom Sherington writes here: “I want to suggest that one of the most important habits of a Great Teacher teaching Great Lessons is to find joy in what they’re doing and in what the students are doing. When I walk into a lesson that gives me a sense that it is a Great Lesson… The teacher and the students are busily engaging in tasks or exchanging ideas in a way that conveys enthusiasm and interest and even pleasure… JOY!”