Building the expert teacher prototype: A metasummary of teacher expertise studies in primary and secondary education

Anderson J., TANER G.

Educational Research Review, vol.38, 2023 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 38
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.edurev.2022.100485
  • Journal Name: Educational Research Review
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, ASSIA, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts
  • Keywords: Expert teachers, Metasummary, Systematic review, Teacher expertise, Teacher quality
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


© 2022 The AuthorsWhile expert teachers remain a frequent focus of research in education, to date there have been very few attempts to conduct systematic reviews of this literature. This paper presents the findings of the first systematic metasummary of research on teacher expertise in K12 education (primary/elementary and secondary levels), based on analysis of 106 empirical studies from 16 countries involving 1124 teachers identified as experts. The inductively-developed coding framework was applied independently by both authors to the dataset to generate agreement counts for specific coding themes, firstly for specific domains of teacher expertise, and then stratified to compare primary and secondary studies. We present 73 specific features organised into six domains in our expert teacher prototype. Salient findings indicate that, with regard to professional practice, expert teachers reflect extensively and often critically on their practice, help their colleagues frequently, and are continuous learners throughout their careers. Concerning knowledge, we find that expert teachers have well-developed pedagogical content knowledge and knowledge about their learners. In the domain of pedagogic practice, we observe that expert teachers display flexibility in the classroom, build strong interpersonal relationships with their learners, whom they engage through their choice of activities and content, and frequently make use of strategies typically emphasised in both constructivist and learner-centred education literatures. We offer our prototype as a useful initial sketch of family resemblance among expert teachers rather than a checklist of necessary or expected features of expertise, also cautioning that the prototype remains far from complete.