Confirmation of candidature - Grace Liu

Teacher attributes and student achievement outcomes: An exploration of the specific attributes of teachers teaching English as a foreign language in high schools in China

 Research shows that teachers differ dramatically in their ability to affect student achievement outcomes. These differences are often attributed to teacher quality. While a large volume of research exists that examines the relationship between student achievement gains and teacher quality,  teacher quality is a complex construct, which has been defined in diverse ways, such as by measurable characteristics. 

      This study aims to explore the specific attributes (personal attributes, performance, and effectiveness) of teacher quality among those teachers who teach English as a foreign language in high schools in China. Data of students’ achievement outcomes in learning English will be collected from 480 students of Grade 10, 120 from each of the four sampled schools (four different ranks of schools) that agree to participate in the study. These data will be used along with teacher and student questionnaires and teacher and student interviews to provide information about teacher attributes that impact students’ achievement outcomes. 

      The research will be viewed through a cross-culture lens, utilising a mixed methods approach. Both qualitative and quantitative analyses will be applied to investigate the specific attributes of the teachers that are perceived and demonstrated to be most effective in promoting student achievements . Using the Achievement Orientation Model as one of the theoretical frameworks, the study also aims to investigate the relationship between those teacher attributes and student achievement orientation. The results are expected to provide policymakers, researchers and school authorities in related regions with practical insight into teacher employment and professional development. It is anticipated that the teachers themselves will use the findings to inform their teaching practices.        

Advisors:    Professor Robyn Gillies, Associate Professor Yunxia Zhu

Panel: Associate Professor Karen Moni, Dr Kim Nichols

Date: 14 November 2016

Time: 2-4pm

Location: Room 506, Building 24