New Technology and Teacher Performance
Eric Taylor

About the research


NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year



Stanford University

Primary Discipline

The job of classroom teacher, like most occupations, has changed and will continue to change as new computer tools and software become available to enhance or replace labor. Yet little to no empirical research examines how new technology affects teacher performance, at least performance as measured by contributions to student achievement. In the proposed dissertation, I study teachers? own decisions about how to educate students in their classrooms, measure how those decisions change when a new technology is introduced, and estimate the net effect on the variation in teacher performance. Data for the study come from a series of field experiments in which teachers were given computer assisted instruction software to use in their classrooms; the experiments tested 18 products with the participation of over 650 teachers and 17,000 students. I begin by estimating treatment effects on the variance of teachers? contributions to test score growth. Preliminary results suggest CAI reduced the variability of teacher performance in math. To better understand the change in variance, first, I use quantile regression methods to examine whether the treatment effects on teacher performance are related to baseline performance. Second, I estimate effects on teachers? decisions and classroom practices, measured in structured observations and interviews. My dissertation will contribute new empirical evidence on what causes differences in teacher performance?evidence on the role of both new technology specifically and teachers? choices more generally. If technology can change teacher performance, the results will suggest new policies and investments to improve teaching quality.
About Eric Taylor

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