Comparisons of Student Perceptions of Teacher's Performance in the Classroom: Using Parametric Anchoring Vignette Methods for Improving Comparability

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Self-reported measures, teacher quality, reference group bias, anchoring vignettes methods, PISA study.


Self-reports are an indispensable source of information in education research but might be affected by reference group bias if the frame of reference (i.e. implicit standards), used to answer the questions, differs across students. The anchoring vignettes method was introduced, in other areas of social science, precisely to correct for this source of bias. However, studies that make use of this approach in education are rare and more research is needed to study its potential. This paper uses data from PISA 2012 to investigate the use of the parametric model of the anchoring vignettes method to correct for differential implicit standards in cross-country comparisons of student’s perceptions of an important dimension of teacher quality: teacher’s classroom management. Our results show significant heterogeneity in implicit standards across countries. We also show how correlations between countries’ average teacher classroom management levels and external variables can be improved substantially when heterogeneity in implicit standards is adjusted for. We conclude that the anchoring vignettes method shows a good potential to enhance the validity and comparability of self-reported measures in education.


EDRE Working Paper 2015-01