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How are Teachers Teaching? A Nonparametric Approach


  • De Witte, K.
  • Van Klaveren, C.


This paper examines which conguration of teaching activities (expressed in, e.g., problem solving, homework, lecturing) maximizes student performance. To do so, it formulates a non- parametric eciency model that is rooted in the Data Envelopment Analysis literature. In the model, we account for (1) self selection of students and teachers in better schools, and (2) complementary teaching activities. The analysis distinguishes both individual teaching (i.e., a personal teaching style adapted to the individual needs of the student) and collective teaching (i.e., a similar style for all students in a class). Exploiting the data set, we compare the actual teaching style as revealed by the teacher in the data to the model estimations. As such, we anal- yse which students in the class the teacher is targeting with his/her teaching style. The main results show that high test scores are associated with teaching styles that emphasise problem solving and homework. In addition, teachers seem to adapt their optimal teaching style on the 70 percent least performing students.

Suggested Citation

  • De Witte, K. & Van Klaveren, C., 2010. "How are Teachers Teaching? A Nonparametric Approach," Working Papers 36, Top Institute for Evidence Based Education Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:tir:wpaper:36

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Van Klaveren, Chris, 2011. "Lecturing style teaching and student performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 729-739, August.
    2. 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.
    3. Kristof DE WITTE & Mika KORTELAINEN, 2008. "Blaming the exogenous environment? Conditional efficiency estimation with continuous and discrete environmental variables," Working Papers Department of Economics ces0833, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, Department of Economics.
    4. 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.
    5. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2006. "Teacher-Student Matching and the Assessment of Teacher Effectiveness," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
    6. Charles T. Clotfelter & Helen F. Ladd & Jacob L. Vigdor, 2010. "Teacher Credentials and Student Achievement in High School: A Cross-Subject Analysis with Student Fixed Effects," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
    7. De Witte, Kristof & Mika, Kortelainen, 2009. "Blaming the exogenous environment? Conditional efficiency estimation with continuous and discrete exogenous variables," MPRA Paper 14034, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kristof de Witte & Laura López-Torres, 2015. "Efficiency in Education. A Review of Literature and a Way Forward," Working Papers 1501, Departament Empresa, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, revised Apr 2015.
    2. José Antonio Molina Marfil & Oscar David Marcenaro Gutierrez & Ana Martín Marcos, 2016. "Procesos de enseñanza-aprendizaje y producción educativa: un análisis de la competencia matemática," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 11,in: José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 11, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 32, pages 585-604 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    3. Escardíbul, Josep Oriol & Calero, Jorge, 2013. "Two Quality Factors In The Education System: Teaching Staff And School Autonomy. The Current State Of Research," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 13(3), pages 5-18.
    4. Francesco Vidoli & Elisa Fusco & Claudio Mazziotta, 2015. "Non-compensability in Composite Indicators: A Robust Directional Frontier Method," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 122(3), pages 635-652, July.
    5. Carlos Cortinhas, 2017. "Does formative feedback help or hinder students? An empirical investigation," Discussion Papers 1701, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:kap:jproda:v:49:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11123-017-0517-3 is not listed on IDEAS


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