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Investigating the relationship between "effective" teachers and theoretical notions of effective teaching: An analysis of whole-group discussions

Scherrer, Jimmy (2013) Investigating the relationship between "effective" teachers and theoretical notions of effective teaching: An analysis of whole-group discussions. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The literature base on teacher effectiveness has rapidly expanded in the past decade. Once dominated by social scientists, the literature is now heavily influenced by economists. Utilizing value-added modeling, economists have mainstreamed attempts to isolate the effect that a teacher has on student achievement. Findings from these attempts, however, confuse an improvement in measuring teachers with an improvement in measuring teaching. The field of education is still missing transparent, debatable measures of teaching practices. This study proposes a new measure, the adjusted whole-group discussion score, for one teaching practice—conducting whole-group discussions. It then uses that measure on a purposefully sampled group of teachers, and investigates its relationship to statistically derived measures of teacher effectiveness—that is, value-added estimates. This study is one of the first to go inside the classrooms of teachers being labeled effective through value-added modeling and to shed light on their classroom practices. In so doing, the study highlights different aspects of good teaching, which include being accountable to facts and procedures and being accountable to authentic discourse. Moreover, it articulates specific classroom discussion moves that can be used in targeted interventions. Findings illustrate that teachers with similar value-added scores can have markedly different teaching practices and that high value-added estimates do not necessarily reflect a full range of classroom teaching practices. The main policy implication of these findings is that, similar to students who need individualized instruction, teachers need individualized intervention.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairStein, Mary Kaymkstein@pitt.eduMKSTEIN
Committee MemberAshley, Kevinashley@pitt.eduASHLEY
Committee MemberCorrenti, Richardrcorrent@pitt.eduRCORRENT
Committee MemberGreeno, Jamesjimgrno@pitt.eduJIMGRNO
Committee MemberSmith, Margaretpegs@pitt.eduPEGS
Date: 30 August 2013
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 29 July 2013
Approval Date: 30 August 2013
Submission Date: 5 August 2013
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 148
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Learning Sciences and Policy
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: classroom discourse, value-added modeling, discussions, teaching practices, learning and instruction, teaching, measurement, education policy, assessment
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2013 19:34
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:14


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