Comprehensive LPI review analyzes 30 studies on the effect of teaching experience on student achievement
Do teachers plateau early in their career or do they continue to grow and improve as they gain experience? It's a critical question that has implications for local, state, and federal education leaders and policymakers. And it's the subject of the latest report from the Learning Policy Institute (LPI), Does Teaching Experience Increase Teacher Effectiveness? A Review of the Research.
Based on their analysis of 30 recent, methodologically rigorous studies on the impact of teaching experience on student outcomes, authors Tara Kini and Anne Podolsky find that as teachers gain experience, they are more likely to positively impact student achievement and improve critical behaviors, including attendance. The steepest gains are in the first few years of teaching, but teachers gain in effectiveness throughout their careers, especially when they are in collegial work environments. Experienced teachers also have a positive impact on the performance of their peers.
"This report shows that what is widely accepted as true in the business world-that individuals improve their performance with experience-is also true in teaching," says LPI Senior Policy Advisor Kini, who co-authored the report.
These findings come at an important time. Nationwide, we're seeing a "greening" of the teacher workforce. But inexperienced teachers aren't evenly distributed throughout schools. Black, Latino, American Indian, and Native-Alaskan students are three to four times more likely to attend schools with higher concentrations of first-year teachers than White students. New teachers are also more likely to be concentrated in high-poverty schools.
In addition to a detailed analysis of the research, the report includes recommendations to address these inequities-a requirement under the Every Student Succeeds Act-and offers program and investment strategies to attract, retain, and develop talented teachers who have opportunities to learn and grow throughout their careers.