Can teacher quality be profiled? A cluster analysis of teachers' beliefs, practices and students' perceptions of effectiveness

Journal article

Witter, Michael and Hattie, John. (2024). Can teacher quality be profiled? A cluster analysis of teachers' beliefs, practices and students' perceptions of effectiveness. British Educational Research Journal. 50(2), pp. 653-675.
AuthorsWitter, Michael and Hattie, John

A critical aim of teacher quality research is to identify and distil its multiple components. While many such components have been identified in the literature, there is a scarcity of research that has attempted to empirically investigate how these elements integrate within a larger profile of teacher quality, including how particular teachers' beliefs, behaviours and outcomes cluster into unique profiles of teachers. In this study, a group of Australian high-school teachers completed an extensive teacher beliefs questionnaire, undertook the Visible Classroom program to record and document their use of high-leverage teaching practices and had their students complete a survey based on perceptions of effective teaching. The results were analysed using cluster analysis to determine if distinct groups of teachers could be identified based on similarities in beliefs, behaviours and student perceptions of teaching. The results suggested multiple distinct clusters of teachers with distinguishing types of beliefs, frequency of practices and student perceptions of teaching. Most notably, the results pointed to a unique cluster of teachers who were most distinguishable in their self-efficacy, intrinsic motivation and personal responsibility beliefs, as well as highly active teaching behaviours in the classroom. This group also possessed the highest levels of student perceptions of teaching. The findings provide new insights into the complex profiles that shape teacher quality and implications for future research.

Keywordsapproaches to teaching; evaluation; survey; teacher research
Year01 Jan 2024
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Journal citation50 (2), pp. 653-675
PublisherJohn Wiley and Sons Ltd (UK)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Web address (URL)
Open accessOpen access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range653-675
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online30 Nov 2023
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Nov 2023
Deposited03 Jul 2024
Additional information

© 2023 The Authors. British Educational Research Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Educational Research Association.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
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