What Makes Good Teachers Good?: A Cross-Case Analysis of the Connection between Teacher Effectiveness and Student Achievement

Oct. 01, 2011

Source: Journal of Teacher Education, 62(4), p. 339-355. September/October, 2011.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

This study examined the impact that individual teachers have on student achievement.
In particular, the study compared the impact of effective teachers and less effective teachers on their students tests scores in reading and math.

The authors addressed to the following research questions:
Phase I: To what degree do teachers have a positive, measurable effect on student achievement?
Phase II: How do instructional practices and behaviors differ between effective and less effective teachers based on student learning gains?

The authors used a two-phase study to shed light on the connection between teacher effects and teaching practices.

In Phase I, the authors used hierarchical linear modeling to assess the teacher effectiveness of 307 fifth-grade teachers in southeastern United States based on their students’ math and reading achievement.

In Phase II, the authors conducted a cross-case analysis with 17 top- and 15 bottom-quartile teachers to determine the impact of teacher behavior on their effectiveness.


The findings reveal that top-quartile teachers had fewer classroom disruptions, better classroom management skills, and better relationships with their students than did bottom-quartile teachers.

Furthermore, the 15 teacher effectiveness dimensions rated by the observers were categorized into four domains of practice.
Differences were found between the two groups of teachers in the areas of classroom management and personal qualities.

It was found that top-quartile teachers scored significantly higher in the two dimensions related to classroom management.
In addition, top-quartile teachers scored higher in fairness and respect as well as in having positive relationships with students.

The authors conclude that in order to improve the schools, we need to improve the teaching that occurs every day in every classroom.

Updated: Apr. 09, 2013