Assessment Report Roundup

Teachers Need Balance of Traits, Study Says

By Evie Blad — November 03, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The skills required to boost traits like persistence in students differ from the skills required to boost gains in academic achievement, concludes a study from the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University.

Researchers administered more than 300,000 surveys in 16,000-plus 6th-to-9th grade classrooms during the 2013-14 school year, using an instrument called the Tripod survey to gauge school climate, student engagement, and teacher traits.

They matched what they call “agency-related factors"—defined as emotions, motivations, mindsets, and behaviors linked with personal agency—with the teaching components experienced by respondents in their classrooms. Specifically, they assessed seven teaching skills related to how much teachers care, confer, captivate, clarify, consolidate, challenge, and emphasize classroom management.

Each skill has different effects on students’ success in school and in life, the study finds. Some may even have negative effects if not balanced with other teaching traits. For example: Too much care can make a student feel coddled, thus depressing academic persistence.

Because teacher training is often linked to increasing academic achievement, it’s likely that some skills needed for student success haven’t been emphasized, researchers said. Good teachers show a balanced array of these traits, the report says.

A version of this article appeared in the November 04, 2015 edition of Education Week as Teachers Need Balance Of Traits, Study Says


Special Education Webinar Reading, Dyslexia, and Equity: Best Practices for Addressing a Threefold Challenge
Learn about proven strategies for instruction and intervention that support students with dyslexia.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Families & the Community Webinar
How Whole-Child Student Data Can Strengthen Family Connections
Learn how district leaders can use these actionable strategies to increase family engagement in their student’s education and boost their academic achievement.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
College & Workforce Readiness Webinar
The School to Workforce Gap: How Are Schools Setting Students Up For Life & Lifestyle Success?
Hear from education and business leaders on how schools are preparing students for their leap into the workforce.
Content provided by Find Your Grind

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Assessment Opinion Rebooting Assessment and Accountability Post-Pandemic: What Now?
The disruptions of the pandemic have made this an ideal time to rethink accountability and assessment.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
Assessment Don’t Use State Tests ‘Punitively,’ Ed. Secretary Cardona Warns
As federal accountability restarts after two years, guidance from the department underscores how complicated that could be.
5 min read
Image of data, target goals, and gaining ground.
Assessment Latest Round of Federal Grants Aims to Make States' Assessments More Equitable, Precise
The U.S. Department of Education awarded over $29 million in competitive grants to 10 state education agencies.
2 min read
Assessment review data 599911460
Assessment Opinion Are There Better Ways Than Standardized Tests to Assess Students? Educators Think So
Student portfolios and school community surveys are but two of the many alternatives to standardized tests.
3 min read
Illustration of students in virus environment facing wave of test sheets.
Collage by Vanessa Solis/Education Week (Images: iStock/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty)