Distal and Proximal Indicators of Teacher Effectiveness : As Predictors of Students’ Mathematics Competence in Germany (Grade 5 – 7)

Faculty/Professorship: Fakultät Humanwissenschaften: Abschlussarbeiten ; Bamberg Graduate School of Social Sciences (BAGSS)  
Author(s): Hanif, Saba
Publisher Information: Bamberg : University of Bamberg Press
Year of publication: 2016
Pages: v, 181 ; Illustrationen, Diagramme
ISBN: 978-3-86309-452-2
Series ; Volume: Schriften aus der Fakultät Humanwissenschaften der Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg ; 26 
Supervisor(s): Carstensen, Claus H.  
Source/Other editions: Parallel erschienen als Druckausg. in der University of Bamberg Press, 2016 (17,50 EUR)
Language(s): English
Dissertation, Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg, 2016
Link to order the print version: http://www.uni-bamberg.de/ubp/
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
URN: urn:nbn:de:bvb:473-opus4-478705
The focus of research on educational effectiveness has turned from school effectiveness towards the effectiveness of the teachers as research in the recent past has shown that teachers are the most important determinant of student learning. However, there is still a lack of consensus as to whether teacher variables (distal) or teaching variables (proximal) are more important. A strong body of knowledge has shown the importance of teacher variables in student learning. However, Seidel and Shavelson (2007) in their recent meta-analyses claimed that teaching factors are more important than teacher factors because they are proximal to the teaching-learning process. They argued that past studies on teacher effectiveness using quasi experimental and experimental studies have shown stronger effect on student learning than correlational studies because they have measured teacher effectiveness proximally. Therefore, they suggested correlational studies should also measure teacher effectiveness proximally to get better results. Although, it may be true that proximal indicators are more important than distal indicators, but findings from a single meta-analysis study are not enough to diminish the significance of teacher factors. More research is needed in correlational studies to explore this issue. The current study aims to measure the effectiveness of both distal and proximal indicators of teacher effectiveness in order to see which factors strongly predict student competence in the domain of mathematics.
The study aims to investigate the role of teacher factors (teacher belief, professional training, planning, cooperation among teachers, job satisfaction and stress in planning and classroom) and their instruction (cognitive activation, cooperative learning, cognitively challenging tasks, student engagement and differentiation.) in the mathematics competence development of students. The design of my study is longitudinal in nature. National Educational Panel (NEPS) data is used to investigate the effect of teachers on students’ mathematics competence development from grade 5-7 with a sample of 151 teachers and their 1706 students. Confirmatory factor analysis was carried out on the data in order to confirm the construct validity of the questionnaires. Mathematics competence was measured by NEPS through a standardized test at the beginning of grade 5 and grade 7. Multiple regression analyses and multi-group analyses were carried out in Mplus 7.11 to analyze the research questions. The study found that the following distal indicators are significant predictors of mathematics competence belief about deep learning, professional collaboration, individual needs of students, and stress in planning and classroom. Among proximal indicators student engagement, cognitively challenging tasks and differentiation showed the significant effect. Distal indicators explained 11% and proximal indicators explained 6% of the total variance in mathematics competence of students. The study found that distal indicators are stronger predictors of mathematics competence than proximal indicators and the importance of distal factors cannot be undermined. Once student previous mathematics competence was controlled for professional collaboration was no longer significant predictor and the amount of variance explained by distal and proximal factors decreased. A multi-group analysis was performed in order to examine do teachers in different school tracks (lower secondary school, middle secondary school, multi-track school, comprehensive school and grammar school) vary in effectiveness. However, no meaningful pattern of difference in teacher effectiveness across schools types was found. Implications of the findings are discussed.
GND Keywords: Lehrerbildung; Lehrerpersönlichkeit; Unterrichtsführung; Mathematik; Unterrichtserfolg
DDC Classification: 370 Education  
RVK Classification: SM 607   
Type: Doctoralthesis
URI: https://fis.uni-bamberg.de/handle/uniba/41135
Year of publication: 24. March 2017

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