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Teacher Quality, Test Scores and Non-Cognitive Skills: Evidence from Primary School Teachers in the UK

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  • Sarah Flèche

Abstract

Schooling can produce both cognitive and non-cognitive skills, both of which are important determinants of adult outcomes. Using very rich data from a UK birth cohort study, I estimate teacher value added (VA) models for both pupils' test scores and non-cognitive skills. I show that teachers are equally important in the determination of pupils' test scores and non-cognitive skills. This finding extends the economics literature on teacher effects, which has primarily focused on pupils' test scores and may fail to capture teachers' overall effects. In addition, the large estimates reveal an interesting trade-off: teacher VA on pupils' test scores are weak predictors of teacher VA on non-cognitive skills, which suggests that teachers recourse to different techniques to improve pupils' cognitive and non-cognitive skills. Finally, I find that teachers' effects on pupils' non-cognitive skills have long-run impacts on adult outcomes such as higher education attendance, employment and earnings, conditional on their effects on test scores. This result indicates that long-run outcomes are improved by a combination of teachers increasing pupils' test scores and non-cognitive skills and has large policy implications.

Suggested Citation

  • Sarah Flèche, 2017. "Teacher Quality, Test Scores and Non-Cognitive Skills: Evidence from Primary School Teachers in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp1472, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1472
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Van Klaveren, Chris, 2011. "Lecturing style teaching and student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 729-739, August.
    2. M. Caridad Araujo & Pedro Carneiro & Yyannú Cruz-Aguayo & Norbert Schady, 2016. "Teacher Quality and Learning Outcomes in Kindergarten," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1415-1453.
    3. Jesse Rothstein, 2010. "Teacher Quality in Educational Production: Tracking, Decay, and Student Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 175-214.
    4. Schwerdt, Guido & Wuppermann, Amelie C., 2011. "Is traditional teaching really all that bad? A within-student between-subject approach," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 365-379, April.
    5. Epple, Dennis & Newlon, Elizabeth & Romano, Richard, 2002. "Ability tracking, school competition, and the distribution of educational benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-48, January.
    6. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:67:y:2018:i:c:p:184-206 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2008. "Estimating Teacher Impacts on Student Achievement: An Experimental Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14607, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    9. Seth Gershenson & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "Linking Teacher Quality, Student Attendance, and Student Achievement," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(2), pages 125-149, Spring.
    10. Hidalgo-Cabrillana, Ana & Lopez-Mayan, Cristina, 2018. "Teaching styles and achievement: Student and teacher perspectives," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 184-206.
    11. Erik Lindqvist & Roine Vestman, 2011. "The Labor Market Returns to Cognitive and Noncognitive Ability: Evidence from the Swedish Enlistment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 101-128, January.
    12. Bietenbeck, Jan, 2014. "Teaching practices and cognitive skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 143-153.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    teacher quality; test scores; non-cognitive skills; long-run impacts; teaching practices; ALSPAC;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J00 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - General

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