Learning about and learning from expert teachers

David Berliner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

596 Scopus citations


Studies of expertise in teaching have been informative, despite problems. One problem is determining the relative roles of talent vs. deliberate practice in the acquisition of expertise. When studying teachers, however, a third factor must be considered, that of context. The working conditions of teachers exert a powerful influence on the development of expertise. A second problem is that of definition because expertise in teaching takes different forms in different cultures, and its characteristics change by decade. A distinction is drawn between the good teacher and the successful teacher, characteristics of expertise that are often confused. A prototypical model of expertise is described and found to identify teachers who were both good and successful. Discussed also is the importance of understanding adaptive or fluid expertise, automaticity and flexibility. Finally, the development of teacher expertise is seen as an increase in agency over time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-482
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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