4 key factors of teacher credibility in classroom

 1About “John Hattie” and his research, I heard for the first time in a conference for school Principals conducted in Lucknow, India. He has researched over 800 meta-analysis relating to achievements, he has compared the effect sizes computed for more than 800 different meta-analysis that, in turn, bring together the results of more than 50,000 different studies.

After listening to research topics and factors that affect the students learning, I was impressed and thought this is very inspiring and much required in Indian school education. In this blog I would like to highlight Professor Hattie’s latest research, published in his new book “ Visible Learning for Teachers”, which suggests that teacher credibility is one of the most important factors in all of learning and students are very perceptive about knowing which teacher can make a difference.

There are four key factors of credibility: trust, competence, dynamism and immediacy.


  • Adapt messages for listeners by being sincere and honest in the presentation of information.
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses in information – for example, reliability and bias – to demonstrate honesty.
  • Introduce sources that are trusted by pupils and use them to develop class material.
  • Explain the soundness of analysis, arguments and evidence.
  • Earn trust by showing trust towards pupils.


  • Appear highly organized in the presentation of the subject matter.
  • Deliver a message that is as free from errors as possible, including grammar, pronunciation and enunciation.
  • Prepare thoroughly by being in control of the subject matter, key issues, sources, evidence, arguments and differing viewpoints.
  • Have lesson plans that are organized and detailed.
  • Use relevant personal experiences to provide greater insights for students.


  • Develop a powerful style of speaking that uses few verbal or vocal hesitancies such as “OK” or “you know”.
  • Vary physical movements such as gestures, facial expressions and eye contact.
  • Vary vocal characteristics, such as rate, pitch, inflection and tone.
  • Use a variety of evidence, stories, visual aids and computer programs.


  • Have a relaxed body position so that you look comfortable when standing or sitting in front of the class.
  • Establish eye contact with the entire class.
  • Smile to disarm and relax students.
  • Attempt to reduce distance between yourself and students by moving or by moving away from barriers such as desks or lecterns.


In an interview Hattie puts it like that: “If a teacher is not perceived as credible, the students just turn off, “he says.

“If a student doesn’t get (the value of education) by the age of 8, they are behind for most of the rest of their school life”.

Hope this article will help teachers in India and I highly recommend all teachers to read Visible Learning for Teachers by John Hattie.

Source – Haskins, W. “Ethos and Pedagogical Communication: suggestions for enhancing credibility in the classroom” (2000). Current Issues in Education 3 (4). Image source – http://essentialeducator.org/?p=13983, Posted on March 03, 2013


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