Teaching Experience Matters More Than We Used to Think

Two new research studies that evaluated vast amounts of data both concluded that teachers continue to improve over the course of their careers. The prevailing wisdom from previous research, which many teachers and teachers unions have disputed, said that teachers improved in their first several years of teaching, but then plateaued.

The studies looked at student test data, which continued to go up beyond the first several years of teaching, but also took advantage of more comprehensive research techniques to demonstrate that teachers with more experience improve student attendance and limit student disciplinary issues.

Interestingly, one study, by two Brown University professors, showed that longer teacher experience correlated more strongly with student success in math, while two Duke University professors showed more gains in language arts.

As would be expected, teachers unions responded positively to these new studies and re-affirmed their commitment to getting new candidates into the field of teaching and keeping them there with positive professional development. “These are incredibly important studies, and I think we’d make a big mistake if we didn’t look at them carefully and re-examine some assumptions,” said Segun Eubanks, the director of teacher quality for the NEA. “The idea of teachers maxing out in five years was so contradictory to what we know about other professions.”

For more information, please visit: http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/03/25/new-studies-find-that-for-teachers-experience.html