Abstract

Using data from a Spanish assessment program of fourth-grade pupils, we analyze to what extent using traditional and modern teaching styles in class is related to achievement in maths and reading. As a novelty, we measure in-class work using two different sources of information - teacher and students. Our identification strategy relies on between-class within-school variation of teaching styles. We find that modern practices are related to better achievement, especially in reading, while traditional practices, if anything, are detrimental. There are differences depending on the source of information: the magnitude of coefficients is larger when practices are reported by students. These findings are robust to considering alternative identifications of teaching practices. We obtain heterogeneous effects of teaching styles by gender and type of school but only when using students' answers. Our findings highlight the importance of the source of information, teacher or students, to draw adequate conclusions about the effect of teaching style on achievement.