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In order to be an effective teacher, a teacher needs subject knowledge (knowledge about what to teach). For example, if a teacher is teaching a course about the history of the modern Middle East, he or she must know about this subject. However, while subject knowledge is necessary, it is not enough. Knowledge of how to transmit information and the skill to do so is at least as important as knowledge of the information and skills themselves. To be an effective teacher, a teacher must also know where to find information about his or her subject, so that he or she can keep his or her subject knowledge up to date with the latest information about it.In addition, to be effective, a teacher must have an understanding of pedagogy (also referred to as instruction), a word which comes from the Greek and literally means ‘to lead the child.’ [i] Pedagogy refers to the set of teaching strategies a teacher uses in any given teaching situation to help learners learn what they are supposed to learn at that time. In designing these teaching strategies, an effective teacher takes into account a number of factors about his or her students, including their behavior, background knowledge about the subject, and motivation, as well as their intellectual, social, and cultural characteristics. The learning material needs to be presented in a way that makes sense, using strategies that help learners remember what they have been taught. Effective teaching builds in regular informal and formal assessments to check whether or not learning goals have been achieved. They need to respond appropriately if these assessments show that learners are having difficulties.


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