The Effect of Teacher Content Knowledge on Student Achievement: A Quantitative Case Analysis of Six Brazilian States

Raquel Guimaraes, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG)
Asha Sitaram, Stanford University
Lucia Jardon, Universit├Ąt Z├╝rich
Shimpei Taguchi, Stanford University
Lenora Robinson, Harlem Village Academies

This study investigates the effect of teacher content knowledge on elementary school math achievement in Brazil. We use longitudinal data on six Brazilian states that participated in the FUNDESCOLA program in 1999. Our identification strategy is based on a value-added model that controls for student and teacher characteristics, class composition and school fixed-effects. Our evidence suggests that teachers with higher content knowledge, measured by their performance on tests, have a positive impact on the math test scores of students. The effect of teacher content knowledge is even larger at the school-level. This result suggests that if greater resources are spent in increasing the content knowledge possessed by teachers, student achievement will be positively affected.

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Presented in Poster Session 4