How does teacher quality matter? The effect of teacher-parent partnership on early childhood performance in public and private schools


This study explores how teacher matters in improving early childhood performance in US kindergartens. We find that it is what teachers do rather than the credentials they hold that matters. Different from previous research on the effect of teacher quality on student achievement, this paper first rejected the common practice of using teacher credentials, such as degree levels and certificate status, to measure teacher quality in the context of early childhood education. Based on the 'overlapping spheres' framework, this study then examines the behavioural aspects of teachers; specifically, we focus on teacher's role in establishing and maintaining a good teacher-parent relationship. Our findings suggest that teacher-parent interaction is a positive determinant of student performance. The behavioural aspects of teaching appear to shape the transformation from a mere 'qualified' teacher into a 'quality' teacher, and should receive more attention in future studies on teacher quality.

Publication Title

Education Economics