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Identifying effective teachers: The relation between teaching profiles and students’ development in achievement and enjoyment

Abstract

Teaching effectiveness has often been described from a variable-centered perspective according to instructional, organizational, and emotional teaching characteristics and their prediction of students’ outcomes. Adopting a person-centered approach, the present study analyzed how multiple variables of teaching quality co-occur simultaneously within teachers and how these teaching profiles are related to students’ development in achievement and enjoyment. Data from 3483 secondary students and their 155 mathematics teachers were analyzed at two measurement points. A latent profile analysis identified high-, medium-, and low-quality teaching profiles. Multilevel analyses revealed that the high-quality profile—as compared to the medium-quality profile—was positively related to achievement gains, whereas no significant difference was found for students’ development in enjoyment. The findings reveal quantitative instead of qualitative teaching profiles and challenge the implicit assumption the higher the better. In particular, effective teachers may not need to display the highest levels in all teaching aspects. Instead, different thresholds for teaching effectiveness may apply for students’ achievement gains and emotional development, respectively.

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Notes

  1. Based on a rotational design, on average, 55% of the students in each class rated their teachers’ teaching quality. The other 45% of the students completed different questionnaires.

  2. The reanalysis of LPA without the subscale “respectful treatments of students” showed the same pattern of profiles. Therefore, we decided to keep the scale in the analyses.

  3. Alpha values for students’ mathematics achievement in grade 9 and grade 10 are based on a student sample that also includes classes that participated at only one measurement point only.

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Funding

The COACTIV study was supported by the German Research Foundation (BA 1461/2-1 and BA 1461/2-2).

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Doris Holzberger. TUM School of Education, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstr. 21, 80333 Munich, Germany. E-mail: doris.holzberger@tum.de

Current themes of research:

School conditions and school characteristics. Professional competence of teachers. Instructional quality. Research syntheses and meta-analyses.

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Holzberger, D., Philipp, A., & Kunter, M. (2016). Ein Blick in die Black-Box: Wie der Zusammenhang von Unterrichtsenthusiasmus und Unterrichtshandeln von angehenden Lehrkräften erklärt werden kann [A glance into the black box: how the relationship between teacher candidates’ enthusiasm for teaching and their instructional behavior can be explained]. Zeitschrift für Entwicklungspsychologie und Pädagogische Psychologie, 48(2), 90–105. doi:10.1026/0049-8637/a000150.

Holzberger, D., Philipp, A., & Kunter, M. (2014). Predicting teachers’ instructional behaviors: the interplay between self-efficacy and intrinsic needs. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 38(2), 100–111. doi:10.1016/j.cedpsych.2014.02.001.

Holzberger, D., Philipp, A., & Kunter, M. (2013). How teachers’ self-efficacy is related to instructional quality: a longitudinal analysis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 774–786. doi:10.1037/a0032198.

Anna-Katharina Praetorius. University of Zurich, Freiestrasse 36, 8032 Zürich, Switzerland

Current themes of research:

Instructional quality. Teachers’ diagnostic competence. Teachers’ professional motivation. Ability self-concept. International comparative educational research.

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Praetorius, A.-K., Lauermann, F., Klassen, R. M., Drexler, K., Nitsche, S., Janke, S., Dickhäuser, O., & Dresel, M. (2017). Longitudinal relations between teaching-related motivations and student-reported teaching quality. Teaching and Teacher Education, 65, 241–254.

Praetorius, A.-K., Drexler, K., Rösch, L., Christophel, E., Heyne, N., Scheunpflug, A., Zeinz, H., & Dresel, M. (2015). Judging students’ self-concepts within 30 seconds? An application of the zero-acquaintance approach to research on teachers’ judgment accuracy. Learning and Individual Differences, 37, 231–236.

Praetorius, A.-K., Pauli, C., Reusser, K., Rakoczy, K., & Klieme, E. (2014). One lesson is all you need? Stability of instructional quality across lessons. Learning and Instruction, 31, 2–12. doi:10.1016/j.learninstruc.2013.12.002.

Tina Seidel. TUM School of Education, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstr. 21, 80333 Munich, Germany

Current themes of research:

Student individual characteristics. Teacher-student interactions in classrooms. Multi-media based tools for teacher education. Research syntheses and meta-analyses.

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Seidel, T., & Stürmer, K. (2014). Modeling the structure of professional vision in pre-service teachers. American Educational Research Journal, 51(4), 739–771. doi:10.3102/0002831214531321.

Seidel, T., & Shavelson, J.R. (2007). Teaching effectiveness research in the past decade: role of theory and research design in disentangling meta-analysis results. Review of Educational Research, 77(4), 454–499.

Seidel, T., & Prenzel, M. (2006a). Stability of teaching patterns in physics instruction: findings from a video study. Learning and Instruction, 16(3), 228–240.

Mareike Kunter. Goethe University Frankfurt, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6, 60629 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Current themes of research:

Professional competence of teachers. Teacher career development. Classroom instruction. Motivation at school.

Most relevant publications in the field of Psychology of Education:

Kunter, M., & Hasselhorn, M. (2016). Children at risk of poor educational outcomes: how educational research can support early identification and improve prevention. Journal of Educational Research Online, 8, 3–6.

Kunter, M., & Holzberger, D. (2014). Loving teaching: research on teachers’ intrinsic orientations. In P. W. Richardson, S. A. Karabenick, & H. M. G. Watt (Eds.), Teacher motivation: theory and practice (pp. 83–99). New York: Routledge.

Kunter, M., Klusmann, U., Baumert, J., Richter, D., Voss, T., & Hachfeld, A. (2013). Professional competence of teachers: effects on instructional quality and student development. Journal of Educational Psychology, 105(3), 805–820. doi:10.1037/a0032583.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 2 Descriptive statistics of the teaching and student outcome variables (time 1/time 2)
Table 3 Intercorrelations between demographic teacher variables and instructional ratings
Table 4 Selection criteria for different profile solutions (time 2)
Table 5 ANOVAs on differences in teaching quality subscales across the identified three teaching profiles (time 2)

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Holzberger, D., Praetorius, AK., Seidel, T. et al. Identifying effective teachers: The relation between teaching profiles and students’ development in achievement and enjoyment. Eur J Psychol Educ 34, 801–823 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10212-018-00410-8

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Keywords

  • Teaching quality
  • Effectiveness
  • Student cognitive and emotional development
  • Person-centered approach
  • Latent profile analysis