Even though equity is an important aim for the Nordic countries, for many of these countries, the effect of a student’s home background on their achievement seems to increase over time. If the aim is to reduce the effect of SES (socioeconomic status) on student outcomes, there is a need to identify the factors that moderate this relation. One such factor could be teachers and their instruction because they have been found to be key to student outcomes. However, few have linked teachers and their instruction to equity, and fewer still have made this link in Nordic countries. The aim of the present study is to identify the aspects of teacher quality and their instruction that may reduce the relationship between SES and student achievement in the Nordic countries. Eighth-grade students from the only two Nordic countries participating in TIMSS 2015 (Norway and Sweden) were selected. Multigroup, multilevel (students and classes) structural equation models with random slopes were employed to investigate which aspects of teacher quality moderate the relation between SES and student science achievement via instructional quality. The findings show that teacher professional development and specialisation reduce the relation between SES and science achievement via instructional quality in Sweden, while there were no significant findings for Norway. This study contributes to the fields of equity and teacher effectiveness, demonstrating that teachers may make a difference in reducing inequity through their competence and instruction.
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