How poor children are often hurt twice by teacher shortages

From experience to meaning...

Primary schools with vulnerable children are hit harder by the teacher shortage, according to an analysis of Flemish school data by Kristof De Witte and KU Leuven colleagues. This will surprise only a few people, as we’ve seen this to be the case in many countries and regions. Such schools are more common in an urban context, where the teacher shortage is already higher anyway, and teachers sometimes just can pick where to work because of the shortage.

That this does not help equal opportunities should not be surprising either. In this way, these children are taught less on average than other children, while they would benefit twice as much from this time with a teacher.

But there is more to it than that if we look at what education research currently says has the highest learning effect: collective teacher efficacy. This concept, coined by American-Canadian psychologist Albert Bandura in…

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