Does an Education Major Matter for Teaching?: The Relationship between Teachers Degree and Student Achievement

Accesible PDF image
Nov 2022
It is unclear whether teachers with a degree in education are more effective than those who are not trained in an education-related field. To further examine this issue, we analyze the rela- tionship between teachers college major and student achievement by using unique data from Ecuador, which, for a period of time, allowed any graduate, regardless of their major, to apply for a teaching position in the countrys centralized selection process. Results from all specifi- cations indicate a non-significant relationship between degree type and student achievement, suggesting that teachers with and without an education degree are equally effective. We also found that teachers content-related and pedagogical knowledge do not seem to mediate the relationship between having an education degree and student learning. Finally, we observe no heterogeneous effects across different student demographic and socioeconomic characteristics. Examining these claims empirically is crucial for ensuring that greater flexibility in teacher re- cruitment does not have negative effects on the quality of the education workforce.