FACULTY KUDOS: Dr. Robert J. Walker publishes textbook on effective teachers

Professor of Education Dr. Robert J. Walker

Professor of Education Dr. Robert J. Walker

Congratulations to Professor of Education Dr. Robert J. Walker on publishing the third edition of his book, 12 Characteristics of an Effective Teacher. The book is taught as a supplemental textbook in the course EDUC1010 Introduction at Southwest.

12 Characteristics of an Effective Teacher features essays written by education majors about the K-12 teacher whose outstanding personal and professional characteristics inspired them to major in education and become teachers themselves.  Several essays are written by Southwest students, and many valuable teaching methods are highlighted.

More than 150 heartwarming stories are told of how teachers helped students deal with a variety of personal, academic, emotional and social concerns, such as sexual identity, bullying, ADHD, dyslexia and parental loss. One touching story featured a teacher who arranged a hair appointment for her student so that she would feel comfortable singing at Carnegie Hall. 

“After years of listening to students speak about their favorite and most memorable teacher, and after years of reading students’ essays of teachers who made the most significant impact on their lives, I discovered 12 commonalities among the teachers,” Walker said. His extensive qualitative and longitudinal research identified the following 12 characteristics of an effective teacher:

Characteristics of an Effective Teacher

  1. Prepared
  2. Positive
  3. High Expectation
  4. Creative
  5. Fair
  6. Personal Touch
  7. Develops a Sense of Belonging
  8. Admits Mistakes
  9. Sense of Humor
  10. Gives Respect to Students
  11. Forgiving, and
  12. Compassionate

Walker’s previous edition received accolades from educators across the country.  Dr. John Jason Morgan referenced the book to develop a Mixed Design Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) research for his doctoral dissertation at Auburn University. Morgan’s seminal study examined the relationships between self-perceived personality characteristics found in award-winning Career and Technical Education (CTE) teachers and award-winning Core Subject Area (CSA) teachers throughout the country.

According to Morgan, “The results of the research study indicated that award-winning CTE teachers and award-winning CSA teachers throughout the United States of America valued all twelve of Robert J. Walker’s 12 Characteristics of an Effective Teacher. Perhaps more importantly, the two groups of award-winning teachers did not differ significantly based on Walker’s 12 Characteristics of an Effective Teacher.” *

Congratulations, Dr. Walker, on your new book! Thank you for sharing your extensive research on what makes an effective teacher.

*(Taken from the abstract of Dr. John Jason Morgan’s doctoral dissertation submitted to the graduate faculty of Auburn University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy, May 9, 2015).


Scoop - May/June 2020