Teacher and Teaching Effects on Students' Academic Behaviors and Mindsets

Working Paper 41
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Mathematica Policy Research
Dec 04, 2015
David Blazar and Matthew A. Kraft
A growing body of evidence has identified a range of academic behaviors and mindsets other than test scores as important contributors to children’s long-term success. We extend a complementary line of research focusing on the role that teachers play in developing these outcomes. We find that upper-elementary teachers have large effects on students’ self-reported behavior in class, self-efficacy in math, and happiness in class that are similar in magnitude to effects on math test scores. However, teachers who are effective at improving these outcomes often are not the same as those who raise math test scores. We also find that these non-tested outcomes are predicted by teaching practices most proximal to these measures, including teachers’ emotional support and classroom organization. Findings can inform policy around teacher development and evaluation.