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Effects of teacher qualification: development over time, across school subjects and between different groups of students - ELK

Research project
Inactive research
Project period
2014 - 2018
Project owner
The Department of Education and Special Education, University of Gothenburg

Financier
The Swedish Research Council

Short description

The project seeks to contribute to the understanding of direct and indirect effects of teacher qualification on student achievement.

About the project

Student social background was long seen as the one most powerful predictor of school achievement. During recent decades though, there has been a growing interest for teacher effects. Results indicate that teachers account for 10 to 20 per cent of the differences in students’ school results. However, results of the impact of formal teacher education has been contradictory, some arguing that teacher effectiveness is a result of personnel characteristics. The research field is now developing both theoretically and methodologically and during later years a growing body of research has arrived at the conclusion that adequate teacher education has a substantial effect on student learning.

The project investigates effects of teacher qualification on student achievement in Sweden. Analyses are conducted with data from the international studies of student skills in reading, mathematics and science, PIRLS and TIMSS, where detailed information of the length and content of different teacher education programs can be related to performances of individual students.

Data on teachers from different teacher education programs is linked to student performance with the purpose to investigate effects of teachers’ subject knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge on student achievement. In addition, interaction effects between teacher qualification and student social background are studied in order to investigate if students with different characteristics benefit equally from well-qualified teachers.

The meaning of teacher quality is further investigated by the study of relationships between teacher education, teachers’ self-perceived competence and teacher competence as measured by students for different subjects.

The purposes of the project are to:

  1. investigate effects of teachers´ qualification on student reading literacy test scores,
  2. explore whether there are interaction effects between teacher qualification and student social background, and
  3. examine to what degree effects of teacher formal qualification on student performance in reading and science/mathematics relate to self-perceived competence/self-efficacy and competence as measured by students?

Altogether, the project seeks to contribute to the understanding of direct and indirect effects of teacher qualification on student achievement.