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What makes an inspiring teacher?

Emerald study reveals the key characteristics and practices of exemplary educators

Bingley, United Kingdom, 26 May 2016 – The term ‘inspiring teaching’ is increasingly used but rarely defined in the education landscape. A new study from Emerald Group Publishing explores the characteristics and practices of outstanding teachers to reveal what the key ingredients are to being an inspirational teacher. 

In the article, "Inspiring teaching: learning from exemplary practitioners" from Emerald’s Journal of Professional Capital and Community (JPCC), Pamela Sammons, Ariel Mariah Lindorff, and Lorena Ortega from Oxford University, UK, and Alison Kington from the University of Worcester, UK, investigate the concept of ‘inspiring teaching’ based on case studies of exemplary practitioners in England to inform professional development and collaborative learning and support school improvement.

The study found that characteristics of inspiring teachers include:

Having and transmitting enthusiasm
Cultivating positive relationship with students
Making learning purposeful and relevant for students
Being flexible and adapting their practice.

Emerald has produced an infographic based on this research, called ‘What Makes an Inspiring Teacher?’ which can be accessed and shared here: 

The Journal of Professional Capital and Community (JPCC) is an international, professionally refereed, scholarly journal, reflecting the most important ideas and evidence of the nature and impact of interactions and relationships in the education profession, especially in the school sector. 

Edited by highly acclaimed scholar Professor Andy Hargreaves, JPCC is free to access during 2016. 

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About Emerald Publishing:
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Emerald Publishing was founded in 1967 to champion new ideas that would advance the research and practice of business and management. Today, we continue to nurture fresh thinking in applied fields where we feel we can make a real difference, now also including health and social care, education and engineering. We publish over 300 journals, more than 2,500 books and over 1,500 case studies, via our dedicated research platform


Dawn Williams
Content Communications Executive
Emerald Publishing Limited
Phone: +44 (0) 1274 785226