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What makes a great teacher? (MSc) - EDU00091M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Lisa Kim
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

The module aims to introduce students to teachers’ social and emotional characteristics, how they can be measured, and how individual differences in these characteristics are associated with a variety of aspects in both students’ and teachers’ lives. The implications of individual differences in these teacher characteristics for academic research, policy and practice will also be discussed.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content:


  • Students will understand and be able to explain the key teacher social and emotional characteristics (e.g., personality, emotional intelligence), their models and their measures (e.g., Big Five Inventory, MSCEIT.
  • Students will understand how individual differences in teachers’ social and emotional characteristics are associated with outcomes, such as teacher effectiveness (e.g., student academic achievement) and teacher wellbeing (e.g., burnout).
  • Students will explore and critically evaluate how theories and empirical research from various disciplines (e.g., educational psychology, personality psychology and organisational psychology) can inform our understanding of how best to understand and measure teacher social and emotional characteristics and apply them to research, practice and policy.
  • Students will apply theoretical knowledge and understanding gained in independent reading to an issue related to either measuring or increasing teacher social and emotional characteristics that they have identified independently.


Academic and graduate skills:


  • Students will gain experience in assimilating information to develop an informed personal perspective on an important applied topic in psychology in education.
  • Students will be able to effectively communicate a reasoned argument, and the evidence underpinning it, in both written and oral forms.
  • Students will be able to identify and synthesise a range of sources (e.g., academic articles, media and policy documents) and critically evaluate their reliability, validity and relevance.
  • Students will be able to analyse ways in which theories and data from different disciplines can inform each other and can be applied in educational policy, research and practices.
  • Students will work proactively and autonomously to select and manage information and use this to engage effectively in debate.
  • Present readings and ideas to expert and non-expert audiences in a poster format.

Module content

Students will be introduced to the concept of social and emotional competences and how they are relevant to teachers. We will explore some key social and emotional competences in depth (e.g., personality and emotional intelligence) and discuss how these constructs have been well-explored in students but not in teachers. The module has a strong emphasis on theory and measurement— details on their theoretical models (e.g., Big Five, MSCEIT) and they can be measured (e.g., type of measure, source of reporting).

Furthermore, we will examine the constructs of teacher effectiveness and teacher well-being, how they can be measured, and how they are associated with teachers’ social and emotional competences. Implications of these research findings on educational policy, practices and research will also be discussed. Students will also have a chance to critically analyse past or existing teacher emotional and social characteristic training/intervention programmes and to propose an alternative one.


Task Length % of module mark
Academic Poster Presentation
N/A 30
Essay (3000 words)
N/A 70

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Academic Poster Presentation
N/A 30
Essay (3000 words)
N/A 70

Module feedback

Students will receive peer feedback and tutor feedback during class through, for example, discussions and small group work.

Tutor feedback will be provided for the formative assessment, which will be a title with a short description of their poster content, and an essay plan.

Individual written feedback reports for summative assessments, with follow-up tutor meeting if necessary. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information

Indicative reading

Brackett, M. A., & Katulak, N. A. (2006). Emotional intelligence in the classroom: Skill-based training for teachers and students. Applying Emotional Intelligence: A Practitioner’s Guide, 1–27.

Goe, L., Bell, C., & Little, O. (2008). Approaches to Evaluating Teacher Effectiveness: A Research Synthesis. Washington, DC: National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality. Retrieved from

Iancu, A. E., Rusu, A., Maroiu, C., Pacurar, R., & Maricu¿oiu, L. P. (2018). The effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing teacher burnout: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review, 30, 373–396.

Kim, L. E., Jörg, V., & Klassen, R. M. (2019). A meta-analysis of the effects of teacher personality on teacher effectiveness and burnout. Educational Psychology Review.

OECD. (2005). Teachers matter: Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers. OECD Publishing. Retrieved from

Visible Learning Plus. (2018, October 1). Visible Learning plus 250+ Influences on Student Achievement. Retrieved October 4, 2018, from

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.