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Teaching Quality

  • Sean Kelly
  • Ben Pogodzinski
  • Yuan Zhang
Chapter
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)

Abstract

Sociological research has often focused on teaching practices, and features of the teaching profession, in search of mechanisms that explain disparate schooling outcomes. Yet, the study of teachers and teaching practices is complicated by the fact that students’ themselves influence classroom instruction. To what extent is systematic variation in teaching quality responsible for persistent and sometimes widening gaps in educational outcomes among social groups in the United States? The evidence summarized in this chapter reveals that most teachers in the United States are both well-qualified and skilled at increasing student achievement. This is true even in schools that serve students facing serious social problems associated with poverty. At the same time, close studies of the teaching process reveal room for improvement, and we conclude that raising the aggregate quality of teaching, and making sure that all students have access to high-quality instruction, will indeed help address persistent gaps in educational outcomes. To improve teaching quality, research, policy initiatives, and future investments must treat teachers’ work as an integrated whole, supporting the professional socialization, ongoing development, and learning of teachers, and the organizational climate in which they work.

Keywords

Teacher effects Teacher quality Teacher evaluation Education reform Teacher labor market 

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Wayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

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