Out-of-Field Teaching Affecting Students and Learning: What Is Known and Unknown

  • Raphaela PorschEmail author
  • Robert Whannell


This chapter presents a review of empirical literature which has investigated the research relating to the association between teacher qualification to teach a subject and the quality of student outcomes. The studies reported mixed findings when investigating the hypothesis that qualified, in-field teachers obtain better student outcomes then unqualified, out-of-field teachers. It is proposed that the research relating to the out-of-field phenomenon is not sufficiently mature for definitive conclusions to be made. It is considered that the differences in definitional and methodological approaches being used need to be overcome. To produce an empirical base of sound evidence, future research would require a more sophisticated approach to defining out-of-field membership, based perhaps on a construct such as identity, and methodological techniques such as multilevel regression modelling on an appropriately sized dataset.


Out-of-field teaching Teaching across subject boundaries Out-of-field research methodology 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MünsterMünsterGermany
  2. 2.University of New EnglandArmidaleAustralia

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