De La Salle's 'Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher': Still Relevant Today?
Posted by William J. Merriman, Ph.D.
on 9 September 2021
The purpose of this study was to compare John Baptist de La Salle's ideas about the characteristics and dispositions of good teachers to 20th-century and 21st-century ideas about what makes a good teacher. De La Salle's "Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher" are explained and used to compare to contemporary ideas about good teachers. Various contemporary educators and educational organizations are reviewed for their ideas and standards for good teachers. Comparisons between De La Salle's ideas and contemporary ideas of good teachers are made on the basis of three areas of importance to all teachers: knowledge of subject matter, pedagogical skills, and appropriate dispositions. Results of the comparison of De La Salle's teacher virtues and contemporary ideas indicated a good match. The Twelve Virtues of a Good Teacher are still very relevant today to help discern good teachers and guide them.
Author:William J. Merriman, Ph.D.
About: William J. Merriman is a professor and dean emeritus in the school of education and health at Manhattan College in New York City. He has been at Manhattan College since 1987 and has served as a professor, dean, and acting provost. He received an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree from Manhattan College in 2016. Dr. Merriman is a graduate of Manhattan College (BS), The Pennsylvania State University (MS), and New York University (PhD). He is also a graduate of the Buttimer Institute of Lasallian Studies. He received the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award from Manhattan College in 2001 and has taught a course on Lasallian educational practices and spirituality. Dr. Merriman has been a consultant to several school districts, the New York State Education Department, and the US Department of Education. He has received numerous grants to develop programs in teacher education and special education. He has also published and made many domestic and international presentations on various topics in teacher training, special education, and adapted physical education.