Teacher Attitudes and Teacher Knowledge in Economic Education
Angela K. Dills
Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics
January 23, 2008
Establishing the determinants of teacher quality remains a difficult empirical proposition. Prior research suggests that high school teachers' subject knowledge and, separately, teacher attitudes towards their subject affect student learning. Because teacher knowledge and teacher attitudes are highly correlated, we disentangle these two effects. We survey economics teachers and their students primarily in South Carolina. Teacher economic knowledge positively and significantly affects student learning; teacher attitude has little or no effect on student learning. However, student test score gains of teachers volunteering to teach economics courses are similar in size to the effect of a comparable increase in teacher knowledge. Our results support interventions targeted towards enhancing teachers' understanding of economics and increased teacher control of course selection.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 17
Keywords: academic achievement, teacher quality
JEL Classification: A20, A21, I21working papers series
Date posted: February 11, 2008
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