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Teacher effectiveness and student achievement: Investigating a multilevel cross‐classified model

Ronald H. Heck (University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 20 March 2009




The purpose of this paper is to show how increasing teacher effectiveness is central to school efforts to improve student outcomes. This study aims to examine successive teachers' effects on student achievement. The premise advanced is that teacher effectiveness is an individual resource that varies across classrooms within schools, as well as a collective resource that varies across schools.


The methods used represent an attempt to expand the scope of previous studies about ways in which schools affect student learning by examining a multilevel constellation of teacher‐related effects (e.g. classroom effectiveness, collective teaching quality, school academic organization) that can be changed to increase educational effectiveness. The sample consisted of 9,196 students, cross‐classified in 511 and 527 classrooms, and nested in 156 elementary schools.


First, the effectiveness of successive teachers was related to student achievement in reading and math. Second, collective teacher effectiveness, as an organizational property of schools, was positively associated with achievement levels. Third, the stability of the school's teaching staff and the quality of its academic organization and teaching processes were positively related to achievement levels.


Findings are consistent with studies that have found that differences in teacher effectiveness matter in explaining student achievement. They also suggest that teacher effects tend to accumulate within and between schools to provide noticeable academic advantage or disadvantage. The results imply promising avenues through which a leadership focus on hiring and retaining high‐quality teachers and facilitating improved academic processes can yield increased school effectiveness.



Heck, R.H. (2009), "Teacher effectiveness and student achievement: Investigating a multilevel cross‐classified model", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 47 No. 2, pp. 227-249.



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Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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