The Teacher Spillover Effect

Great teaching is contagious, according to a new study.

A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research has shown that adding an accomplished teacher to a teaching team or department has a strong beneficial effect on student achievement. Many have reported this as “old news”, since most teachers could tell you that good teachers help students to do better work.

What is the Teacher Spillover Effect?

But, there is a more significant message in the paper--the effect on student performance was indirect. That is, the other teachers on the team became more effective due to the presence of a skilled colleague. The authors attribute this change to raised standards and opportunities to observe and learn from highly capable teachers nearby.