E-CER – In Search for the Good Teacher – Centre for Excellence in Research

What are the characteristics of a "good" teacher? In the international network funded by the European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), researchers from six countries have joined forces to investigate this question theoretically and empirically.

Project Description

In the international network "In Search of the Good Teacher", researchers from Canada, the USA, the Netherlands, Germany, England and Australia are working together to systematize and further develop research on the question of what constitutes a "good" teacher. The network is funded by the European Association of Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) and coordinated by DIPF and the University of York.     

Theoretical advancement: The group aims to consolidate disparate lines of research on teacher quality that have hitherto existed independently, leading to a comprehensive theoretical model that may serve as a common framework for future research.                                                                                                                                                  

Methodological advancement: Only a few standardized instruments measuring teacher quality exist, and few of them have been implemented in international contexts. In this network researchers will share their instruments and work jointly on further improvement and validation. In the spirit of Open Science; we aim to provide the research community with a comprehensive set of standardized teacher assessment instruments, eventually in form of a searchable repository.                                                                                                                               

Interdisciplinarity: The networks focus lies on interdisciplinarity. Questions about “good” teachers cannot be answered by one scientific discipline alone, but need input from different fields such as psychology, educational science, or experts in subject matter.                                                                                                                                                

Practical impact: Findings from our research may have implications for teacher educators, teachers and educational administrators in various domains:                                                                                                                                                 

  1. Teacher recruitment/selection: Who should enter the teaching profession and what are the features one should look for when recruiting and selecting teachers? Our work will inform teacher educators and policy-makers about the relative importance of different teacher variables and inform the development of screening methods.
  2. Teacher training/professional development: How important are aspects such as subject-matter knowledge or motivational orientations? How malleable are these variables and what are the bestways to foster them? Our work may thus contribute to the design of effective teacher learning opportunities.

Project Objectives

The aim of the research group is two-fold. First, we will collectively consider ways of consolidating the diverse theoretical approaches, working towards a shared meta-theoretical model. Second, we will establish new research connections through sharing and advancing teacher assessment instruments, joint work on existing study data, resulting in collaborative studies with international samples that allow for a high degree of generalization.


Robert Klassen (University of York)

Lisa Bardach (University of York/University of Tübingen)

Courtney Bell (Educational Testing Service/University of Wisconsin)

Heather Hill (Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Uta Klusmann (IPN Leibniz Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, Kiel)

Nancy Perry (University of British Columbia)

Thamar Voss (University of Freiburg)

Helen Watt (University of Sydney)

Marjolein Zee (University of Amsterdam)

Project Management

Prof. Dr. Mareike Kunter

Project Details

Current projects
01/2021 – 12/2024
External funding
Department: Teacher and Teaching Quality
Contact: Simone Emmenlauer, Member of Staff