Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Smarter Teachers?

From the blog, Stumbling and Mumbling
What’s more, it is only higher ability pupils who benefit from higher-GPA male teachers. Lower-ability pupils actually suffer.
This suggests that assigning “better teachers” to bad schools might, in a sense, exacerbate educational inequalities, by worsening the performance of low-ability pupils.

You might object that this is just one study, using a very limited measure of teacher ability. Here, then, is another study(pdf) - from North Carolina - which reaches a similar conclusion. It finds that a teacher’s experience is correlated with better pupil results - but mostly for pupils with higher ability or from richer families.
This no big surprise, I suppose but still. Smart kids will be more engaged by smart teachers while less smart kids will feel intimidated/excluded/who-knows.

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