chapterposted on 2021-11-13, 06:37 authored by Chandravadan ShahChandravadan Shah, Helen M. G. Watt, SUZANNE RICESUZANNE RICE, Paul W. Richardson
‘Out-of-field’ refers to teachers teaching subjects for which they do not hold a subject-specific qualification. Theory and empirical evidence suggest it can adversely affect teachers’ work and students’ learning. Teacher shortages and as-pects of school organisational practice have been explanations linked to out-of-field teaching. We draw on Australian PISA 2015 data to examine the extent to which these, together with teacher characteristics and other school context factors, influ-ence the assignment of teachers to out-of-field mathematics teaching. While the re-sults show that schools’ experiences of teacher shortages were unrelated to out-of-field mathematics teaching assignment, greater school autonomy, which captures aspects of school organisational practice, reduced the likelihood of out-of-field as-signment. The results show other school context variables implicated in the rela-tionship between school autonomy and out-of-field teaching are school sector and students’ parents’ educational level. Particular teacher characteristics also associ-ated with their risk of assignment to teach mathematics out-of-field. Implications for policy are advanced.