Keywords: Teacher Effectiveness; Equality of Educational Opportunities; Student Achievement.
Sociological accounts on educational inequalities have traditionally disregarded the role of the quality of teaching and its effectiveness. Yet, the growing consensus about the pivotal role of teachers on the development of student achievement and the related inequalities urges Sociologists to cope with this concept and eventually to incorporate it in their theorizing process. To this end, this article illustrates two multidisciplinary strands of literature related to teacher effectiveness. The first deals with the well-known phenomenon of teacher-students matching. Mechanisms facilitating the pairing of highly effective teachers with better-off students will be discussed, and their role in the reinforcement social stratification will be highlighted. The second considers the literature on the effectiveness of professional development programs for teachers. Results coming from these studies show how such programs have the potential to substantially reduce educational inequalities. Throughout the document, evidence from other disciplines is evaluated from a sociological perspective and attention is drawn to the multiple links between them and the sociological subdisciplines