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Do Teachers' Personality Traits Predict Their Performance? A Comprehensive Review of the Empirical Literature From 1990 to 2018 BFF

Kell, Harrison
Publication Year:
Report Number:
ETS Research Report
Document Type:
Page Count:
Subject/Key Words:
Personality Traits, Big Five Factor Model (BFF), Teacher Personality, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Performance, Job Performance, Teacher Quality, Elementary School Teachers, Secondary School Teachers, Literature Reviews, Empirical Research, Elementary Secondary Education


Interest in the relationship between teachers' personality traits and their performance is rising. It is often remarked, however, that the topic has received little research attention. This study surveys what empirical research has been conducted among U.S. K–12 teachers from 1990 to 2018. The search, conducted according to Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta‐Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines and structured by the Big Five personality taxonomy, uncovered 13 articles. Effect sizes were statistically small, with the most consistent finding being that agreeableness was negatively related to most outcomes across most studies. Implications and future directions for research and practice are discussed.

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