A growth analysis of teacher qualifications and students´global self-esteem

Rune Müller Kristensen

Abstract


There is an increased focus on students’ non-academic outcomes of schooling and its long-term impact on the adolescents’ later life. Teachers are viewed as the most significant factor in schools for improving student learning and development. Little is known on effects of teacher qualifications on students’ non-academic outcomes, as this area has had little attention in previous research. The most well-known and widely used measure of non-academic outcomes in adolescence is global self-esteem (GSE). Using data from the National Educational Longitudinal Study (NELS:88) this study investigates how teacher qualifications in terms of certification, educational degree and employment status affect students’ development in GSE. Effects of teacher qualifications influence on students’ development in GSE over time is modelled using growth curve analysis. Results show that elements in teacher certification, educational degree and employment status have a minor but significant effect on students’ GSE. Some of these effects differ between boys and girls, showing that boys react positively to teachers with high levels of content knowledge, while girls react positively to teachers with a higher degree of pedagogical competences. The results indicate that students internalize teachers’ behaviour differently, as the reaction to having a part-time teacher differs across gender. Results are discussed in light of current theories of teacher quality.


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