I'm re-blogging Kevin Van Lierop's post of Bill Gates' recent TED talk. Based on the news reports of it, I thought it was only based on malaria; many thanks to Kevin for pointing out that he also addressed education! At about 8 minutes in, Gates transitions from malaria to the importance of great teachers and education.
Some interesting points on teacher attributes that affect student learning:
-seniority has little affect (after 3 years)
-master's degree has little affect
-subject-area degree has some affect (in math)
-past performance has a huge affect
-KIPP mentioned: collaborative, data-based teaching, get students' attention [he doesn't mention the lengthened school day/year...I think this is also a critical difference]
Gates, ever the technologist, also advocates putting digital video cameras in classrooms for better observation and reflection, sharing of best-practices through annotated teaching videos. While we might step back and question why we should follow Bill Gates' advice - after all, he's a college drop-out - I think it's clear that he's a life-long learner and is using research-based findings toward the improvement of education.