Teacher Encouragement has Greatest Influence on Less Advantaged Children

The study suggests that teacher encouragement can aid students’ educational progress. used a mathematical modeling technique to match and investigate whether encouragement influences the likelihood of students enrolling in (1) advanced high school (A-level) courses and (2) a university degree course. Model estimates suggest that encouragement does have a significant positive impact on both outcomes.


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Teachers nurture young minds to create influential people in society. However, despite being educators, teacher encouragement keeps them building the nation through this noble course. A new study also suggests that teacher encouragement keeps the pupil engaged with education after the age of 16.

Scientists found that teacher encouragement has a great impact on those whose own parents never progressed past compulsory education. It is discovered by using a technique called big data. The technique allows scientists to look at the long-term impact of the student-teacher report and is the first to analyze its role in university access.

Report author Dr. Ben Alcott said, “When people speak of a positive school experience, they frequently cite a personal relationship with a teacher and the encouragement they were given. Our research helps quantify that impact and show its significance, particularly for addressing social mobility.”

Scientists involved more than 4,000 students in the study. The students were tracked for seven years from the age of 13 onwards. In Year 11, the last year of compulsory education at the time, they were asked whether a teacher had encouraged them to stay on in full-time education.

For that purpose, they used a mathematical modeling technique to “match” and compare students with similar attainment, experience, and life histories. This makes it possible for the influence of teacher encouragement alone to be measured.

Scientists found that almost 74% of students continued their education after 16. On the other hand, 66% of students who did not receive encouragement found as less educated.

The students were also grouped according to other factors, such as level of parental education and household income.

For students whose parents lacked formal qualifications, 64% of those who received encouragement continued with their studies after 16, compared with 52% of those whose teachers had not encouraged them – and at the university level, there was still a 10 percentage point gap between the two groups.

Dr. Alcott said, “The results suggested that the relationships that teachers developed with students are real engines for social mobility. Many teachers take the initiative to encourage students. So, teachers must know about.”

“The effect their efforts have and the children likely to benefit most.”


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