Investigating the “black box” of effective teaching: the relationship between teachers’ perception and student achievement in a large urban district

  • Marco A. Muñoz
  • Julie R. Scoskie
  • Diana L. French


Given the international need to improve student learning, there is nothing more important than classroom teachers. Obtaining a deeper understanding of effective classrooms is a priority if educational reform efforts are to succeed in any educational system around the world. In the last decade, educational researchers have expanded the knowledge base about the impact of teachers, but far less is known about what effective teachers do that make such a positive difference. This investigation focuses on the relationship between attributes of effective teaching, as perceived by both more and less effective teachers, and fourth grade reading achievement results of their students. This investigation used value-added modeling methods as the first step for identifying the more and less effective fourth grade teachers (N = 261) and their students (N = 6,962). Survey research methods were used to compare the perceptions about characteristics of effective teaching for teachers previously identified—in the value-added model—as (a) more effective and (b) less effective. Findings indicated that the more effective teachers value classroom management and organization as the number one characteristic of effective teaching; that, in turn, enables the more effective teachers to focus classroom time on student learning. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Teacher effectiveness Teacher quality Value-added assessment Classroom management Instructional practices Student achievement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco A. Muñoz
    • 1
  • Julie R. Scoskie
    • 1
  • Diana L. French
    • 1
  1. 1.Data Management, Planning, and Program Evaluation Services DivisionJefferson County Public SchoolsLouisvilleUSA

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