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RESEARCH FINDING: Teachers with more experience and more education are more
effective in the classroom and students learn more from them. Far more than
any other factor, teacher expertise made the difference in what children
COMMENT: Teacher's knowledge and experience affect students' opportunity to
learn. More experienced and more knowledge teachers are able to provide
higher quality instruction that results in more learning on the part of
Recent research has shown that one of the most important ways in which money
makes a difference in student achievement is through the hiring and training
of more highly qualified teachers. In one of the largest-scale studies of
past decade, Ronald Ferguson found that the single most important measurable
cause of increased student learning was teacher expertise, measured by
teacher experience and master's degrees as well as teacher performance on a
statewide teacher examination.
Despite the importance of teacher knowledge for student learning, shockingly
large numbers of teachers and OTHERS ARE HIRED WITHOUT ADEQUATE PREPARATION
FOR THEIR JOBS. THESE UNLICENSED ENTRANTS NOT ONLY LACKED SPECIAL
PREPARATION FOR TEACHING, BUT THEY ALSO HAD SIGNIFICANTLY LOWER GRADE POINT
AVERAGES IN COLLEGE THAN OTHER NEW TEACHERS.
Ronald Ferguson, "Paying for Public Education: New Evidence on How and Why
Money Matters," Harvard Journal on Legislation 28, No. 2 (1991): 490.
See J.M. Johnston and K. Ryan, "Research on the Beginning Teacher," in The
Education of Teachers: A Look Ahead, ed. K.R. Howie and W.E. Gardner (New
York: Longman, 1983); Murnane and Phillips; G. Moskowitz and J.L. Hayman,
"Interaction Patterns of First Year Typical and Best Teachers in Inner-City
Schools, Journal of Educational Research 67 (1974): 224-30; and Claire J.
Rottenberg and David C. Berliner, "Expert and Novice Teachers' Conceptions of
Common Classroom Activities" (paper presented at the annual meeting of the
American Educational Research Association, Boston, Mass., 1990).
National Center for Educational Statistics, New Teachers in the Job Market,
1991 Update (Washington DC,: U.S. Department of Education Office of
Educational Research and Improvement 1993).
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