The Turkish Online Journal of Education Technology, vol.1, pp.332-343, 2017 (Journal Indexed in ESCI)
Teacher competencies, defined as the knowledge, skills and attitudes that a teacher should have in order to fulfill
the teaching profession effectively and efficiently (MoNE, 2006), are of great importance in the teaching and
learning process. The aim of this study is to identify the core competencies required for sucess for teachers who
teach at three different levels (primary, middle-school and high school) in a prominent private K-12 school in
Istanbul, Turkey. A focus group discussion using the card sort technique is employed in this study. A
representative sample of 17 teachers (six from each of the primary and high school levels and five from the
middle school level) comprise the study participants. The teachers, in three separate focus groups, chose the top
five roles they fulfilled most from the role cards handed to them. After a discussion, they identified their top six
indispensable roles and were then introduced to the competencies that were related with these roles. At this
stage, all teachers separately rated each competency’s importance and ranked it’s priority as a success factor.
From the focus groups; eight competencies were derived for the primary school teachers and seven competencies
each for the middle and high school teachers as key elements of success. Three of the competencies were shared
by all levels. This study’s value lies in its defining the competencies required for success at the different levels of
K-12 teaching. The identified competencies provide valuable criteria which can be used in teacher selection,
performance evaluation, training and career development purposes.
Keywords: teacher competencies, K-12, card sort technique.