Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Strategic Pairing of Colleagues Is an Effective Job-Training Method

Academic journal article Monthly Labor Review

Strategic Pairing of Colleagues Is an Effective Job-Training Method

Article excerpt

Public schools spend an average of $18 billion a year on professional development for teachers, but researchers have found little evidence to suggest that any one formal training format consistently improves teacher performance. If formal training isn't reliably achieving results, what can school districts do to help teachers develop and improve skills?

A team of economists set out to discover if teachers can better develop their skills through informal on-the-job training. In Learning job skills from colleagues at work: evidence from a field experiment using teacher performance data (National Bureau of Economic Research working paper no. 21986, February 2016), John P. Papay, Eric S. Taylor, John H. Tyler, and Mary Laski study teachers who were strategically paired and were then asked to informally work on improving teaching skills.

The researchers tracked teachers in 14 Tennessee elementary and middle schools (7 control schools and 7 treatment schools) during the 2013-14 and 2014-15 school years. Teachers were paired on the basis of a skills assessment that measured 19 skill areas. A teacher with a particularly low score in one or more areas was teamed up with a teacher who had high scores in those same areas. School principals encouraged the pairs "to examine each other's evaluation results, observe each other teaching in the classroom, discuss strategies for improvement" and then follow up "with each other's commitments throughout the school year," but otherwise no formal training was required. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.