Policy interventions like lowering class size in middle schools in efforts to improve student learning outcome have raised questions whether such interventions are actually worthwhile. With researches proving that teaching quality affects student test scores far more than class size, the attention has thus been diverted towards teaching quality.
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Teachers should have an advanced degree because they make for far better student outcomes. Students whose teachers earned a master’s degree performed significantly better than students whose teachers earned a bachelor’s degree, and teachers who are confident are more committed to their jobs, which in turn make a clear difference in student achievement. Hence, teachers should have an advanced degree.
In California, elementary school teachers are required to hold a bachelor’s degree. However, studies find that students whose teachers earned a master’s degree performed significantly better than students whose teachers earned a bachelor’s degree (Curry et al. 15). With this in mind, it is only logical to encourage or incentivize teachers to hold a master’s degree since it would improve student learning outcomes.
While lowering class size may not be as effective as having a more highly educated teaching faculty, it is highly recommended that physical facilities at school and teaching benefits and incentives be improved in order to improve overall job satisfaction. In measuring teaching efficacy, researches have taken into account gender, years of experience, and monthly salary as predictors of teaching efficacy (Minghui 1). This shows that factors like gender, years of experience, salary, and facilities do affect teaching outcomes, but there is no conclusion to how big of a role these factors play in student outcomes. With an increased job satisfaction, teachers would be more highly committed to teaching and in turn, be more satisfied with their job, and the cycle continues (Raza, Shaukat Ali, and Nazir Ahmed 129). Thus, policy interventions and actions to improve facilities at schools can potentially help with student learning outcomes, but only to a certain extent.
Good teachers are absolutely essential in student achievement, but there is no exact method in measuring what makes a good teacher. Teacher quality was found to account for a larger portion of the variation in student test scores than all other characteristics of a school (Goldhaber 50). In general, advanced degrees do not serve as a good measure of quality teaching (Goldhaber 50), so there is a slight obstacle when it comes to hiring teachers. Furthermore, verbal ability may more accurately predict their effectiveness but there is little research to support this. In a sense, this means that it can be possible that an increased verbal ability may play a bigger role than a teacher’s level of education in determining student success, but more research needs to be conducted in order to prove this point.
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In response to that, however, it has been proven that teachers with higher degrees make better students, so it is not of the utmost importance to measure quality teaching, although it would be very helpful in hiring the faculty and ultimately, in improving student learning outcomes. With the information at hand, it may be useful to add verbal ability as a requirement for teachers, as it plays a great role in maintaining student-teacher connection and in fostering students’ education.
As external factors are put into consideration when it comes to assessing teaching effectiveness and student outcomes, it is strongly argued that teachers with higher degrees do make for better students. It is highly encouraged that teachers who do not hold a master’s degree or higher should be great communicators as verbal ability do matter in maintaining student-teacher connection, since student-teacher relationships help promote students’ academic achievements (Xuan 13) through the development of mutual, constructive feedback. Thus, on top of all else, teachers should be highly educated.”
- Curry, Daphney Leann, et al. “Chapter 1: Do Teacher Credentials Matter?” Curriculum & Teaching Dialogue, vol. 20, no. 1/2/2018, Sept. 2018, p. (Sp)9-(Sp)18. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=131343478&scope=site.
- Goldhaber, Dan. “Mystery of good teaching: the evidence shows that good teachers make a clear difference in student achievement. The problem is that we don’t really know what makes a good teacher. (Feature).” Education Next, vol. 2, no. 1, 2002, p. 50+. Academic OneFile, https://link-gale-com.ezp.pasadena.edu/apps/doc/A87209056/AONE?u=pasa19871&sid=AONE&xid=97a0659a. Accessed 7 June 2019.
- Minghui, Lu, et al. “Teacher Efficacy, Work Engagement, and Social Support Among Chinese Special Education School Teachers.” Frontiers in Psychology, 2018. Health Reference Center Academic, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A537657498/HRCA?u=pasa19871&sid=HRCA&xid=cf1a623c. Accessed 8 June 2019.
- Raza, Shaukat Ali, and Nazir Ahmed. “Measuring Employees’ Commitment through Job Satisfaction: Perception of Public Primary School Teachers.” Bulletin of Education and Research, 30 June 2017, p. 129. Academic OneFile, https://link-gale-com.ezp.pasadena.edu/apps/doc/A506757699/AONE?u=pasa19871&sid=AONE&xid=b6b5084e. Accessed 7 June 2019.
- Xuan, Xin, et al. “Relationship among School Socioeconomic Status, Teacher-Student Relationship, and Middle School Students’ Academic Achievement in China: Using the Multilevel Mediation Model.” PLoS ONE, vol. 14, no. 3, Mar. 2019, pp. 1–16. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0213783.
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