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Measuring teacher non-cognitive skills and its impact on students: Insight from the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database

Albert Cheng and Gema Zamarro

Economics of Education Review, 2018, vol. 64, issue C, 251-260

Abstract: Despite research showing labor-market returns to non-cognitive skills, we lack research on how teachers’ noncognitive skills relate to other available measures of teacher quality and student outcomes because datasets typically do not contain explicit measures of these skills. We overcome this limitation by validating several performance-task measures of teacher conscientiousness based upon the effort that teachers exert while completing a survey. We conduct our analysis using the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database where teachers were randomly assigned to their classrooms in the second year of the study. We overcome issues of non-compliance by exploiting the random assignment in an instrumental variables approach to estimate the causal impacts of teachers on their students’ outcomes during the second year of the MET project. We find suggestive evidence that measures of teacher survey effort capture important dimensions of teacher quality. These measures present small but significant correlations with classroom-observation measures and principal ratings of teacher quality and are predictive of student cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes. Moreover, survey-effort measures capture teacher effects on students that are not necessarily captured by other available measures of teacher quality.

Keywords: Non-cognitive skills; Conscientiousness; Teacher quality (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J24 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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