Teacher characteristics and student performance : how teacher ability, gender, and instruction styles affect student outcomes in primary education

J.B. Coenen

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal


    This dissertation investigates a number of teacher characteristics (gender, experience, prior training, class composition and teaching methods) that are often related to student performance in Dutch primary education. One of the conclusions is that pupils perform worse in mathematics if their teacher did a vocational training programme before attending teacher training at a university of applied sciences. The study further showed that pupils with same-gender teachers do not perform any better or worse than pupils with a teacher of a different gender. This means there is no evidence that the large proportion of female teachers negatively affects the maths performance of boys. Another conclusion is that teachers do not adjust their teaching methods to different class compositions. Teachers' background characteristics do appear to play a role in their teaching methods. Female teachers and more experienced teachers used less classroom instruct and more small-group or individual teaching methods.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • Maastricht University
    • Groot, Wim, Supervisor
    • Maassen van den Brink, Henriette, Supervisor
    • Van Klaveren, C., Co-Supervisor, External person
    Award date20 Apr 2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


    • primary education
    • teacher characteristics
    • student performance

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