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ERIC Number: ED587432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Mar
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
The Impact of Graduate Education on Teacher Effectiveness: Does a Master's Degree Matter? MHEC Research Brief
Horn, Aaron S.; Jang, Sung Tae
Midwestern Higher Education Compact
Many school districts and states have long encouraged teachers to pursue graduate education. Teachers are frequently permitted to use graduate credits for recertification (Hill, 2007), and teachers with graduate degrees generally earn a higher salary or receive an annual stipend (Miller & Roza, 2012). Advocates have argued that graduate education may improve teacher effectiveness (e.g., Harris & Sass, 2011) and raise the status of the teaching profession (e.g., Sahlberg, 2015). The purpose of this brief is to examine the prevalence of graduate degrees among teachers in the United States and to summarize research on the relationship between teacher educational attainment and student achievement. Main findings include: (1) Among early childhood, primary, middle, and junior high school teachers, those with a master's degree do not have a larger effect on student reading achievement, relative to teachers with only a bachelor's degree; (2) The effect of master's degree attainment on student reading and math achievement during high school remains unclear; and (3) Overall, past research depicts a complex, poorly understood relationship between teacher educational attainment and student outcomes that may vary by such factors as level of schooling, academic subject, and major-course congruence.
Midwestern Higher Education Compact. 1300 South Second Street Suite 130, Minneapolis, MN 55454-1079. Tel: 612-626-8288; Fax: 612-626-8290; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Information Analyses
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Midwestern Higher Education Compact
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A