02 March 2011

The Value of a Good Teacher

A teacher one standard deviation above the mean effectiveness annually generates marginal gains of over $400,000 in present value of student future earnings with a class size of 20 and proportionately higher with larger class sizes.

-Quote from article in the Economist. Referenced NPR podcast here


Anonymous said...

"Proportionally higher with larger class sizes?" I don't think so.

Sure, you could add one or two more to the class, but not ten. There's such a thing as diminishing returns in everything, and there's tons of research showing small class sizes are more effective.

Blue Ash Mom

CityKin said...

Agreed, there are many variables, such as age of the students and the class size. For older students, the class size may not matter as much.

Anonymous said...

CityKin, I think that class size does indeed matter for older students as well. I am a high school teacher and the large number of students in my classroom reduces the amount of time each student is able to participate in class discussion and significantly reduces the time I can spend putting genuine effort into grading their work. As assessments are part of the educational process as much as what happens in the classroom, this means that students are not getting as much out of their education as they might if I were able to focus more intently on them as individuals. Thanks for sharing this article. It's interesting to see what we do put into economic terms.