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Using longitudinal elementary school teacher and student data, we document that students have larger test score gains when their teachers experience improvements in the observable characteristics of their colleagues. Using within-school and within-teacher variation, we further show that a teacher’s students have larger achievement gains in math and reading when she has more effective colleagues (based on estimated value-added from an out-of-sample preperiod). Spillovers are strongest for less-experienced teachers and persist over time, teachers perform best when they are the weakest of their peer group, and historical peer quality explains away about twenty percent of the own-teacher effect. These results suggest peer learning.


Suggested Citation
Jackson, C. K. & Bruegmann, E. (2009). Teaching students and teaching each other: The importance of peer learning for teachers. Retrieved [insert date], from Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations site: