09 SES 13 A, Evidence from TIMSS on Teacher and School Characteristics and Changes in Mathematics Achievement from 2011 and 2015
Increased attention to education has resulted in attempts to enhance students’ academic success through improving teacher quality and school climate in many countries. For example, in Sweden national school development programs and in-service training of the teachers in different subject matter domains have been implemented with the aim to counteract a declining trend in achievement. School climate includes aspects such as a safe and orderly climate, and school emphasis on academic success, which are related to student outcome (Authors, 2016). Teacher quality comprises a number of aspects, including both qualifications (e.g. educational level, specialization, and professional development) and teacher characteristics such as confidence and self-efficacy. Teacher quality has been shown to be associated with student outcome (Darling-Hammond, Berry & Thoreson, 2001). The aim of this contribution is to investigate the relation between changes in teacher quality and school climate and changes in mathematics achievement from 2011 and 2015 in order to provide a basis for causal inference concerning the impact of teacher quality and school climate on achievement. Method The sample includes all countries who participated in TIMSS 2011 and 2015 with grade 8. Using a structural equation modeling approach, the analysis is done at the country-level with fixed effects for countries and time. The software is Mplus and MLR is used to take care of missing data. Results and conclusion Most aspects of teacher quality and school climate have increased across countries from 2011 to 2015. On the basis of previous research, e.g. on data from TIMSS 2007 and 2011 (Authors, 2016), we expect changes in certain aspects of school climate and teacher quality to be related to changes in achievement. Preliminary analyses indicate that this is the case for school emphasis on academic achievement. Implications for policy and practice as well as methodological implications are discussed. Improving quality of education through teacher quality and school climate may improve student outcome and may hence increase their opportunity of success in further education and careers.
Darling-Hammond, L., Berry, B. & Thoreson, A. (2001). Does Teacher Certification Matter? Evaluating the Evidence. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 23(1), 57–77.
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