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Do preservice teachers’ judgments and judgment accuracy depend on students’ characteristics? The effect of gender and immigration background

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It is important for teachers to be able to accurately assess students’ performance. Such judgments can be influenced by characteristics of the student Südkamp et al. (J Educ Psychol 104:743–762, 2012. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0027627). Besides students’ actual performance, students’ group characteristics (e.g., gender or immigration background) may effect teachers’ judgments. In addition, judgment accuracy might be different for various student groups. We conducted an online study of 168 preservice teachers. We presented within a virtual classroom mathematics test results of 12 fictitious second-grade students who differed in their actual performance in a mathematical test, immigration background, and gender. Preservice teachers made a judgment about the students’ current performance. Students’ actual performance, immigration background, and gender showed statistically significant main effects on the judgment. Students with (vs. without) an immigration background and female (vs. male) students were evaluated less favorably. These effects were qualified by a statistically significant three-way interaction between actual performance, immigration background, and gender. The joint examination of student characteristics in terms of judgment accuracy shows that it is precisely the interaction of student characteristics that makes a difference: female students with and without an immigration background as well as students without an immigration background are assessed more accurately, while male students with an immigration background are assessed significantly more inaccurately. In sum, the judgment made by preservice teachers about students’ performance differed in terms of student characteristics that were unrelated to performance such as immigration background and gender in addition to differing on performance-related variables.
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Vol.:(0123456789)
Social Psychology of Education (2020) 23:189–216
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11218-019-09533-2
1 3
Do preservice teachers’ judgments andjudgment accuracy
depend onstudents’ characteristics? The eect ofgender
andimmigration background
MeikeBonefeld1 · OliverDickhäuser1 · KarinaKarst1
Received: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 22 October 2019 / Published online: 7 November 2019
© Springer Nature B.V. 2019
Abstract
It is important for teachers to be able to accurately assess students’ performance.
Such judgments can be influenced by characteristics of the student Südkamp etal.
(J Educ Psychol 104:743–762, 2012. https ://doi.org/10.1037/a0027 627). Besides
students’ actual performance, students’ group characteristics (e.g., gender or immi-
gration background) may effect teachers’ judgments. In addition, judgment accu-
racy might be different for various student groups. We conducted an online study
of 168 preservice teachers. We presented within a virtual classroom mathematics
test results of 12 fictitious second-grade students who differed in their actual per-
formance in a mathematical test, immigration background, and gender. Preservice
teachers made a judgment about the students’ current performance. Students’ actual
performance, immigration background, and gender showed statistically significant
main effects on the judgment. Students with (vs. without) an immigration back-
ground and female (vs. male) students were evaluated less favorably. These effects
were qualified by a statistically significant three-way interaction between actual per-
formance, immigration background, and gender. The joint examination of student
characteristics in terms of judgment accuracy shows that it is precisely the inter-
action of student characteristics that makes a difference: female students with and
without an immigration background as well as students without an immigration
background are assessed more accurately, while male students with an immigration
background are assessed significantly more inaccurately. In sum, the judgment made
by preservice teachers about students’ performance differed in terms of student char-
acteristics that were unrelated to performance such as immigration background and
gender in addition to differing on performance-related variables.
Keywords Judgment accuracy· Gender· Immigration background· Bias· Teacher
expectation· Performance assessment
* Meike Bonefeld
bonefeld@uni-mannheim.de
1 School ofSocial Sciences, Department ofPsychology, University ofMannheim, A5,6,
68131Mannheim, Germany
Content courtesy of Springer Nature, terms of use apply. Rights reserved.
... Most studies indicate a negative bias, that is, a bias to the disadvantage of ethnic minority students. Teachers tend to judge these students' abilities lower and often have lower expectations for ethnic minority students than for ethnic majority students (e.g., Bonefeld et al., 2020;Glock & Böhmer, 2018;Tenenbaum & Ruck, 2007). Surprisingly, when it comes to feedback, several studies have found a bias in the other direction: Ethnic minority students received more positive and less critical feedback than ethnic majority students (e.g., Harber 1998;Harber et al., 2012). ...
... However, despite the small level of statistical significance, we see our findings as having practical significance because even occasional dysfunctional feedback can have detrimental effects on students' learning (e.g., Brummelman et al., 2014;Meyer, 1992;Mueller & Dweck, 1998). Overall, the findings are in line with previous studies, in which student names were sufficient to activate group-specific stereotypes (e.g., Bonefeld et al., 2020;Bonefeld & Dickhäuser, 2018;Holder & Kessels, 2017;Sprietsma, 2013). Our results add to these studies by indicating that foreign-sounding names can distort not only teachers' judgments but also their tendencies to provide dysfunctional feedback. ...
... Research on gender stereotypes has a long tradition, and there is no doubt that gender stereotypes affect teachers' thoughts and actions as well as ethnic stereotypes. For example, teachers judge boys from immigrant backgrounds less accurately than girls of all backgrounds and boys from non-immigrant backgrounds (Bonefeld et al., 2020). In our study, we included both male and female students, and kept gender constant within each situation type. ...
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