A new CALDER study examines whether student-teaching experience affects both later teaching effectiveness and the likelihood of leaving the profession.
Dan Goldhaber and colleagues analyzed data from six university-based teacher education programs in Washington State that, together, graduate roughly one-third of the state’s teachers. They assembled an impressive data set that included information on teacher candidates’ cooperating or supervising teachers and where their internships or student-teaching occurred; administrative data on race, gender, experience, educational background, and teaching endorsements; and data on the schools in which they were trained and the schools in which they were hired. The sample included individuals who had completed their student-teaching between 1998 and 2010, comprising approximately 8,300 trainees.
Note that (as Goldhaber et al. repeatedly stress) these are descriptive findings, not causal ones, because the analytic models can’t account for the non-random sorting of teachers to schools and teaching positions.
There are three key findings: First, teachers who student-taught in schools with low levels of teacher turnover are less likely to leave teaching.
Second, teachers appear to be more effective when the student demographics at their schools reflect those of the schools in which they student-taught. For example, students in high-poverty schools are predicted to...