Andreea Mitrut will investigate teachers' role in student learning
How important is the teachers’ effort in affecting students’ outcomes? Do teachers teach differently across different students? Do they direct more effort towards the most able or more disruptive students? Economist Andreea Mitrut is about to make a unique study in Romania on how can we affect the quality of education and, in particular, how teachers’ behaviour may affect child learning.
"A key assumption in most of the economic studies looking at the impact of teachers on students outcomes is that the role of a given teacher is the same across all students, no matter what the students characteristics are. But we believe that teachers may play a different role for different students and we want to find out how", says Andreea Mitrut, senior lecturer at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg.
Together with three fellow American economists, Andreea Mitrut just received about 3 million SEK from Riksbankens Jubileumsfond for a three-year-project. The study will take place in Romanian public high schools as the country’s education system provides a unique setting.
"Due to various methodological and data constraints it has been hard to answer questions like if or how does a student’s position in the class - top, middle or bottom ability - affect how much effort a teacher directs towards her. Because of the specific set-up of the Romanian schools we hope to be able answer such questions. This is the first study of this kind."
According to Andreea Mitrut understanding how the extent of stratification by ability, income or ethnicity in a school system affects teacher-student interactions may provide useful information for policy makers aiming at equal educational opportunities.
Footnote: The research project stems from a research cooperation between Andreea Mitrut and two professors at Columbia University, US, established with funding from the Partnership Programme Internationalization Support at the School of Business, Economics and Law.