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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 1 No. 4 (October 2009)

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Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers

Article Citation

Jackson, C. Kirabo, and Elias Bruegmann. 2009. "Teaching Students and Teaching Each Other: The Importance of Peer Learning for Teachers." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(4): 85-108.

DOI: 10.1257/app.1.4.85

Abstract

Using longitudinal elementary school teacher and student data, we document that students have larger test score gains when their teachers experience improvements in the observable characteristics of their colleagues. Using within-school and within-teacher variation, we show that a teacher's students have larger achievement gains in math and reading when she has more effective colleagues (based on estimated value-added from an out-of-sample pre-period). Spillovers are strongest for less experienced teachers and persist over time, and historical peer quality explains away about 20 percent of the own-teacher effect, results that suggest peer learning. (JEL I21, J24, J45)

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Authors

Jackson, C. Kirabo (Cornell U)
Bruegmann, Elias (Cornerstone Research, Menlo Park, CA)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
J24: Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
J45: Public Sector Labor Markets

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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics


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