The relation between teacher specialization and student reading achievement
This study investigates the relationship between teacher specialization and the reading achievement of fourth-grade students in Sweden. The empirical base is data from PIRLS 2011. The main method of analysis is a two-level regression. Results revealed a positive relationship between reading achievement and teacher education relevant for subject and grade level while there was no relationship between reading achievement and teaching experience. The relation between reading achievement and teacher specialization remained significant when the influence of parents’ educational levels and students’ early reading abilities were controlled for. A tendency of compensatory effects could be observed, with teacher specialization having a stronger effect in low-performing classrooms. The findings support the conclusion that relevant teacher education is of importance for teacher effectiveness.