teacher expertise

Study: Teacher expertise increases students’ college success

Postsecondary success could be linked to teacher enthusiasm, passion for subject matter

Teacher expertise in subject matter has a big influence on students’ postsecondary success, according to a new report.

A University of Missouri researcher found that high school students who are taught by teachers who majored or minored in a specific teaching subject, instead of a general teaching degree, are more likely to graduate from college.

Researcher Se Woong Lee, an assistant professor in the university’s College of Education, says schools can use this research on teacher expertise to build a pipeline of highly-qualified teachers and focus on student success.

Through an analysis of a longitudinal data set collected from more than 6,000 students and their teachers nationwide, Lee found that students who were taught by a succession of teachers who majored or minored in mathematics had better success in short-term math achievement. In the long term, the students also were more likely to graduate from college.

Laura Ascione

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