Great Teaching Matters
Great Teaching Matters – 50 Years of Research Show Good Teaching Matters. Now What?
Great Teaching Matters – By Stephen Sawchuk on February 3, 2016
Great teaching Matters – The famous 1966 Coleman Report set up a longstanding (and still unsettled) debate about how much schools can do in the face of poverty and socioeconomic stratification. But one of its findings still resonates, a well-known scholar argues in an article released today: Teachers matter.
Buried within the venerable, 700-page report is the finding that teacher quality seems to bear more of a relationship to student progress than school facilities or curriculum—especially for underserved children, notes the University of Washington’s Daniel Goldhaber, in an upcoming edition of Education Next. (Education Next is a journal run by the conservative-leaning Hoover Institution at Stanford University.)
Sound familiar? It should. The last decade or so has seen dozens of studies, mostly based on sophisticated statistical analyses of growth in student scores, that have reached the same basic conclusion: Of the in-school factors affecting achievement, differences in teacher quality explain a lot of why some students do better than others.
Take a look at this list of studies outlined in Goldhaber’s article, for example: All show that as teachers’ effectiveness improved, so did student learning, for a median growth of about .14 of a standard deviation in math and .12 in reading.
There are some differences between then and now, of course. Coleman found teachers’ verbal ability to be the most predictive factor, followed by educational background. Today, we know that teacher experience and some measures of academic aptitude seem to matter, while things like master’s degrees have a less-consistent relationship to good teaching.