Research Handbook on the Sociology of Education
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Research Handbook on the Sociology of Education

Edited by Rolf Becker

Presenting original contributions from the key experts in the field, the Research Handbook on the Sociology of Education explores the major theoretical, methodological, empirical and political challenges and pressing social questions facing education in current times.
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Chapter 20: Teachers: their characteristics and their role in the education system

Martin Neugebauer


Teachers are central to the quality and equity of an education system. However, they have been largely overlooked by the modern sociology of education. To raise awareness of teachers and their importance to sociological inquires, this chapter reviews the literature with the aim of answering three questions. First, how important are teachers to student learning? Second, what observable teacher characteristics foster student learning gains? Third, who self-selects into the teaching profession – and what are the consequences of this for the supply of high-quality teachers?

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