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Is traditional teaching really all that bad? A within-student between-subject approach

  • Schwerdt, Guido
  • Wuppermann, Amelie C.

Recent studies conclude that teachers are important for student learning but it remains uncertain what actually determines effective teaching. This study directly peers into the black box of educational production by investigating the relationship between lecture style teaching and student achievement. Based on matched student-teacher data for the US, the estimation strategy exploits between-subject variation to control for unobserved student traits. Results indicate that traditional lecture style teaching is associated with significantly higher student achievement. No support for detrimental effects of lecture style teaching can be found even when evaluating possible selection biases due to unobservable teacher characteristics.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 19919.

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Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Economics of Education Review 2 30(2011): pp. 365-379
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:19919
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  1. Monazza Aslam & Geeta Kingdon, 2007. "What can Teachers do to Raise Pupil Achievement?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2007-14, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  2. Lisa Barrow & Lisa Markman & Cecilia E. Rouse, 2008. "Technology's Edge: The Educational Benefits of Computer-Aided Instruction," NBER Working Papers 14240, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264, 08.
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
  5. Thomas J. Kane & Jonah E. Rockoff & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "What Does Certification Tell Us About Teacher Effectiveness? Evidence from New York City," NBER Working Papers 12155, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(2), pages 158-165, May.
  7. Machin, Stephen & McNally, Sandra, 2004. "The Literacy Hour," IZA Discussion Papers 1005, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Daniel Aaronson & Lisa Barrow & William Sander, 2007. "Teachers and Student Achievement in the Chicago Public High Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25, pages 95-135.
  9. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1998. "Teachers, Schools, and Academic Achievement," NBER Working Papers 6691, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Thomas S. Dee, 2005. "Teachers and the Gender Gaps in Student Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2008. "Can Principals Identify Effective Teachers? Evidence on Subjective Performance Evaluation in Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26, pages 101-136.
  12. Schacter, John & Thum, Yeow Meng, 2004. "Paying for high- and low-quality teaching," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 411-430, August.
  13. Hans Bonesr�nning, 2004. "Do the teachers' grading practices affect student achievement?," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 151-167.
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