Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education: The Importance of Teacher Background Qualifications for Student Learning
The federal adult education program serves more than two million eligible adults who lack basic literacy and English language skills. Although numerous studies in K–12 have shown that measurable teacher characteristics can be related to student achievement, no such research exists that examines teacher effectiveness in adult education. To explore whether indicators of teacher quality are associated with student achievement in adult education, this second brief in a series examines the relationships between teacher characteristics and student achievement.
Findings indicated that there was no consistent relationship between key teacher demographics and student outcomes across three states included in the study; among full-time teachers, there was a small but positive relationship between some teacher characteristics and their students’ achievement in two states for mathematics and in one state for reading, while the opposite relationship was found in a third state. The mixed findings require further research in other states to understand better what the important factors are for teachers of adult education.