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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. 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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Social Psychology of Education (2020) 23:189–216
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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
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 :// 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
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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Teachers often provide more positive feedback to ethnic minority students than to ethnic majority students in order to compensate for potential discrimination. However, even feedback that sounds positive can have unwanted effects on the students, such as reinforcing negative beliefs and reducing motivation. In this experimental pilot study, we investigated whether teachers were more likely to convey such dysfunctional feedback to students from immigrant backgrounds than to students from non-immigrant backgrounds. Teachers ( N = 186) read descriptions of classroom situations and indicated the feedback they would provide to the fictive students. The students’ names implied either an immigrant background associated with low competence stereotypes or no immigrant background. For the most part, feedback did not differ according to immigrant status. Yet, there were some situation-specific differences: When immigrant students failed despite effort, teachers used a simpler language in their feedback. In one of two scenarios describing students who succeeded easily without effort, teachers were more likely to provide dysfunctional ability feedback, dysfunctional effort feedback, and inflated praise to a student from an immigrant background than to a student from a non-immigrant background. A subsequent expert survey ( N = 12) was conducted to evaluate the scenario-based feedback test. In sum, the study contributes to the field by providing first signs that students from immigrant backgrounds might be at risk of receiving not only more positive but actually more dysfunctional feedback. Furthermore, the study presents a practice-oriented, standardized, and economic instrument to assess teachers’ dysfunctional feedback, which may be used in future research.
... This type of judgment accuracy of teachers is the focus of most studies available (Südkamp et al., 2012), and it is one of the research objectives of the present paper. Since EC education represents a multi-level context where children are nested in groups, this rank component of judgment accuracy is operationalized as random slopes (see for a similar approach for pre-service primary and secondary teachers: Bonefeld et al., 2020). ...
... Only very few studies on this component of judgment accuracy level exist. It is therefore a second research objective of the present paper and operationalized as random intercepts (see for a similar approach for pre-service primary and secondary teachers: Bonefeld et al., 2020). ...
... Moreover, the lack of multi-level modeling means that the advantage of simultaneously estimating absolute and relative teacher judgment accuracies in terms of a level (random intercepts) and a rank component (random slopes) only rarely has been utilized. Besides our study, we were able to identify only one other study (Bonefeld et al., 2020). We applied a multi-level framework that allowed us to assess judgment accuracy of EC teachers with a criterion on the within-and the between-group level while being able to include covariates. ...
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This study examined absolute and relative judgment accuracies of German early childhood (EC) teachers with respect to the mathematical skills of the children under their supervision. The two types of judgment accuracies are crucial prerequisites for pacing activities in EC education and offering differentiated educational activities adapted to individual skill levels of children. Data from 39 EC teachers and 268 children were analyzed using multilevel modeling. Teachers rated the skills of children on a structured observation instrument (“Kinder Diagnose Tool,” KiDiT). Children were assessed on their mathematical skills with a standardized test (“Mathematische Basiskompetenzen im Kindesalter,” MBK-0). On average, 65% of the variation in judgments of teachers on the KiDiT could be explained by MBK-0 scores of children, which suggest that teachers are—on average—able to rank children within their groups. Teachers were also able to judge the mathematical level of skills of children as assessed by the MBK-0. Neither mathematical content knowledge (MCK) of teachers nor their mathematics pedagogical content knowledge (MPCK) or general pedagogical knowledge (GPK) moderated the relationship between judgments of teachers and test scores of children or the relationship between the level of the judgments and the level of test scores. Conclusions for future research and practice are drawn.
... They are overrepresented in lower school tracks (Henschel et al., 2019) and have lower competencies than non-refugee foreign-born children (Schipolowski et al., 2021). In addition to factors related to the children (e.g., low language skills, traumatization), teachers' attitudes, stereotypes, and (unconscious) biases might be relevant in this context, as prior research has indicated for children with migration backgrounds in general (Bonefeld & Dickhäuser, 2018;Bonefeld, Dickhäuser, & Karst, 2020;Kleen & Glock, 2018a). ...
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In the current study, we examined teachers’ ratings of social exclusion among students. 120 teachers (Mage=24.00, SD=3.71, 88% female) evaluated a hypothetical exclusion scenario in which the excluded student’s origin (German vs. Syrian refugee) was varied as well as whether participants received additional situational information about prior norm-violating behavior of the excluded student or not. Additionally, participants rated how likely they would intervene in the situation. For the evaluation of exclusion and the likelihood of intervention, there was a main effect of additional situational information, revealing that participants evaluated exclusion as less acceptable and were more likely to intervene if there was no additional situational information. Regarding the evaluation of exclusion, there was an interaction of additional situational information and the origin of the excluded student as the effect of additional situational information was bigger if the excluded student was German. For the likelihood of intervention, this interaction was not significant; but descriptively a similar pattern emerged. Results indicate that information about prior norm-violating behavior is more relevant for teachers’ reactions to social exclusion than the origin of the excluded student. However, in situations with an understandable reason for exclusion, teachers do include the origin of the excluded student in their considerations.
... Teachers' expectations about ethnic minority are often based on stereotypes (Bonefeld et al., 2020;Holder & Kessels, 2017) which provide them with beliefs about how these students will behave and how they will perform. Although, teachers' expectations can be accurate (Jussim & Harber, 2005), stereotypical expectations can lead to incorrect judgments of students (Glock & Krolak-Schwerdt, 2013;Holder & Kessels, 2017) and might result in inappropriate instructional practices (Scott et al., 2019). ...
During the last decade, the body of research investigating teachers’ implicit attitudes toward different student groups, particularly toward ethnic minority groups, has been consistently increasing. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) is the main test that is used for this research purpose. However, what has been neglected so far is the investigation of implicit expectations about ethnic minority students in terms of their academic performance. Thus, the aim of the current study was to employ the Relational Responding Task (RRT) in the educational context as this test allowed us to assess stereotypical expectations in a more holistic way than other implicit measures would allow. We administered the IAT to assess implicit attitudes and the RRT to assess implicit expectations in a sample of teachers and preservice teachers in Italy. We also administered a questionnaire to assess explicit prejudice. For 93 teachers and preservice teachers who worked on all three measures, their implicit attitudes toward and their implicit expectations about ethnic minority students were negative, whereas their explicit prejudice was low. We did not find any correlations between the different measures. The findings are discussed in terms of the reasons for the zero correlations, and the usefulness of considering an implicit measure for teacher expectations in future research is highlighted. In this vein, we might obtain deeper insight into the role that teachers play in the disadvantages ethnic minority students experience in school.
... Research in the psychology of teaching and learning with a focus on unequal abilities is generally most strongly oriented toward what happens within the school and classroom contexts, and it tends to foreground the diagnostic quality of teachers' judgments of student attributes that are relevant for learning and achievement ( Südkamp et al. 2012 ). It has been established that teachers judge different attributes of students with varying levels of accuracy ( Kaiser et al. 2017 ;Bonefeld et al. 2020, Timmermans et al. 2015. However, the process of evaluating performance in schools is not simply a matter of the accuracy of teacher judgments and the influence of students' social backgrounds on the expectations of teachers. ...
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In the German school system, grades are the essential means of performance feedback and assignment. However, little research has been conducted on the factors that determine grades in addition to competencies, and existing findings are poorly replicated. Using data from the representative IQB Trends in Student Performance 2015 survey, our analysis combined a variety of personal and structural characteristics to examine and replicate grade-determining factors in German. In data analysis, we paid particular attention to the data generation processes. The results are interpreted based on Bourdieu's considerations of habitus and status maintenance and Boudon's primary and secondary effects of social origin. The results tie in with the reproduction-theoretical considerations of Bourdieu and Boudon and illustrate the dependence of grades on students' background characteristics.
Der heutige Forschungsstand spricht insgesamt dafür, dass die Zusammenhänge zwischen Lehrkrafterwartungen und Leistungen der Schüler*innen selektiv bei Schüler*innen in der Form von Erwartungseffekten wirken können. Als relevante askriptive Merkmale zeigen sich sowohl in der originalen Pygmalion-Studie wie in den Nachfolgestudien das Geschlecht, die ethnische Herkunft, der sozioökonomische Status, die Attraktivität bzw. das äußere Erscheinungsbild, das Verhalten im Klassenzimmer sowie die Bildungsbeteiligung der Eltern der Schüler*innen. Geschlechtsunterschiede spiegeln sich in negativen Erwartungen für Mädchen in Mathematik oder für Jungen im Lesen und anderen verbalen Kompetenzen wider. Im Hinblick auf den Einfluss ethnischer Zugehörigkeit von Schüler*innen zeigt sich die Befundlage gemischt. Eine Benachteiligung in der Überzeugung, Erwartung, Notenvergabe und Gymnasialempfehlung erfahren insbesondere türkischstämmige Kinder an deutschen Schulen. Weiterhin werden Schüler*innen aus höheren sozialen Schichten im Vergleich zu Kindern aus erwerbsschwächeren Familien begünstigt beurteilt. Es zeigt sich nachweislich nachteilig für die schulischen Leistungen, wenn die Erwartungen unter dem Potenzial der Schüler*innen liegen und vorteilhaft, wenn die Leistungen überschätzt werden. Es ist aber durchaus möglich, Lehrkrafterwartungen und nachfolgend die Leistungen der Schüler*innen zu verändern.
Teachers’ perceptions of and intervention strategies for dealing with students’ misbehavior differ depending on various student characteristics such as gender. In Study 1, we investigated whether preservice teachers intervene differently when students’ were talking out of turn, depending on students’ socioeconomic status (SES) and gender. Results showed that the participants were more likely to intervene when the student had low SES. In Study 2, the student misbehavior was that students repeatedly forgot their homework. Study 2 showed that preservice teachers were more likely to use a talk as the intervention strategy for students with high SES and were more likely to ask for help for students with low SES. Preservice teachers indicated the student’s parents as the main causes of student’s misbehavior independent of the student’s SES. The results are discussed with regard to social disparities in the educational system.
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When providing feedback, teachers are concerned not only with the simple transmission of information, but also with motivational and interpersonal dynamics. To mitigate these concerns, teachers may inflate feedback by reducing negative or increasing positive content. The resulting difference between initial judgments and feedback may be even more drastic for ethnic minority students: In non-communicated judgments, negative stereotypes may result in more negative judgments, whereas in feedback, concerns about being or appearing prejudiced may inflate feedback towards ethnic minority students. These hypotheses were tested in a sample of 132 German teacher students in a 2 (between subjects: feedback vs. non-communicated judgment) × 2 (within subjects: target student's migration background: Turkish vs. none) design in which participants read supposed student essays and provided their written impressions to the research team or the supposed student. Findings revealed that teacher students’ feedback was more positive than their non-communicated judgments on a multitude of dimensions. Contrary to expectations, these effects were not stronger when the student had a Turkish migration background. Instead, teacher students rated the essay of the student with a Turkish migration background more favorably both in the judgment and feedback conditions. Our results suggest that teachers adapt their initial judgments when giving feedback to account for interpersonal or motivational dynamics. Moreover, ethnic minority students may be especially likely to receive overly positive feedback. While the motivational/interpersonal dynamics may warrant some inflation in feedback, negative consequences of overly positive feedback, for which ethnic minority students may be especially vulnerable, are discussed.
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Heterogenität ist Teil des (Schul-)Alltags, was sich in den Lerngruppen widerspiegelt, die Lehrkräfte in der Schule vorfinden. Unterschiedlichen Bedürfnissen auf Seiten der Schüler/-innenschaft soll – und das ist in zahlreichen der Öffentlichkeit zugänglichen Dokumenten, wie Schulgesetzen, Schulordnungen und Standards für die Lehrerbildung festgeschrieben – in Form von Differenzierung begegnet werden. Innerhalb dieser Dissertation wird untersucht, wie Binnendifferenzierung auf Mikroebene in der Schulpraxis implementiert wird. Dabei werden die Einsatzhäufigkeit binnendifferenzierender Maßnahmen und Kontextvariablen von Binnendifferenzierung untersucht. Anhand einer Stichprobe von N = 295 Lehrkräften verschiedener Schulformen, die die Fächer Deutsch und/oder Englisch unterrichten, wurde u.a. gezeigt, dass Binnendifferenzierung allgemein nicht (sehr) häufig eingesetzt wird, dass manche Maßnahmen häufiger Einsatz finden als andere, dass an Gymnasien Binnendifferenzierung nicht so häufig eingesetzt wird, wie an anderen Schulformen und dass die Einsatzhäufigkeit bedingende Kontextfaktoren bspw. kollegiale Zusammenarbeit bei der Unterrichtsplanung und -durchführung, die wahrgenommene Qualität der Lehramtsausbildung hinsichtlich des Umgangs mit Heterogenität und die Bereitschaft zur Implementation von Binnendifferenzierung sind und auch Einstellungen zu Binnendifferenzierung und (Lehrer/-innen)Selbstwirksamkeitserwartungen in Zusammenhang mit dem Maßnahmeneinsatz stehen. Die durchgeführte Post-hoc Analyse zeigte bzgl. Einsatzhäufigkeit weiterhin Zusammenhänge zwischen der Persönlichkeit der Lehrkräfte und der Schulform, an der diese unterrichten. Die Ergebnisse entstammen der Schulpraxis und liefern deshalb praktische Implikationen, wie bspw. Hinweise zur Steigerung der Qualität der Lehramtsausbildung, die neben zukünftigen Forschungsansätzen im Rahmen dieser Arbeit expliziert werden. _____________________________________________________________________ Heterogeneity is part of everyday life, and classrooms mirror this reality. Thus, students’ broad array of learning needs should, as stipulated in numerous publicly accessible documents, such as school laws, school regulations and standards for teacher training, be meaningfully addressed through means of differentiated instruction. The present doctoral thesis examines how differentiated instruction at the micro level is implemented in school practice. In particular, teachers’ differentiated practice in terms of frequency of use, as well as context variables are examined. Data analyses from a sample of N = 295 German (as a school subject) and/or English teachers from different school tracks, indicated that: a) differentiated instruction is scarcely used in daily practice, b) that German and English teachers hold a low invariance in their differentiated instructional practices, and c) that in comparison to low and comprehensive school track teachers, high track school teachers implement far less differentiated instruction in their in-class practice. Additionally, the analyses from the present doctoral thesis show that teachers’ implementation of differentiated instruction is dependent on context factors, such as teacher collaboration in planning and implementation of lessons, the perceived quality of teacher training with regard to dealing with heterogeneity as well as teachers’ willingness to implement differentiated instruction, their attitudes and expectations of self-efficacy. Lastly, post-hoc analysis showed, with regard to the frequency of use, links between teachers’ personality and the school track at which they teach. Given that the results stem from school practice, they provide practical implications, such as information on the importance and necessity of increasing the quality of teacher training. Further practical implications are explored and future lines of research are discussed.
We investigated the influence of students' emotional and behavioral disorder (EBD) on pre-service teachers' judgments, while considering the frequency of calling on students as a mediator and stress as moderator. We conducted an experiment in a simulated classroom. N = 56 pre-service teachers went through a stress manipulation, while N = 46 were not stressed. Path analyses controlling for actual performance showed negative effects of EBD on participants' judgments and an indirect effect via call frequency. Stressed participants called on students with EBD as often as students without EBD, while unstressed participants called on students with EBD more.
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Biases in pre-service teachers' evaluations of students' performance may arise due to stereotypes (e.g., the assumption that students with a migrant background have lower potential). This study examines the effects of a migrant background, performance level, and implicit attitudes toward individuals with a migrant background on performance assessment (assigned grades and number of errors counted in a dictation). Pre-service teachers (N = 203) graded the performance of a student who appeared to have a migrant background statistically significantly worse than that of a student without a migrant background. The differences were more pronounced when the performance level was low and when the pre-service teachers held relatively positive implicit attitudes toward individuals with a migrant background. Interestingly, only performance level had an effect on the number of counted errors. Our results support the assumption that pre-service teachers exhibit bias when grading students with a migrant background in a third-grade level dictation assignment.
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Based on theories of social information processing and judgment formation, we investigated whether teachers’ achievement expectations, achievement aspirations and judgments of achievement-relevant characteristics depend on students’ ethnic and/or social backgrounds. Furthermore, we addressed whether judgments for minority students are negatively biased or judgments for majority students are positively biased. To answer these questions, we conducted an online-study with 237 primary school teachers in Germany. We employed case vignettes and experimentally varied students’ ethnic and social backgrounds by means of assigning specific first names. Teachers were asked to rate specific achievement expectations and achievement aspirations (grades for main subjects) for each student as well as provide judgments of achievement-relevant characteristics (general abilities, willingness to put in effort, qualification for a higher secondary school). Results from multi- and univariate analyses of variance with subsequent contrast analyses revealed significant differences in teachers’ judgments for all considered characteristics dependent on students’ ethnic and social backgrounds. Results suggested that teachers’ achievement expectations and achievement aspirations are quite accurate for students with an immigrant background, but that teachers overestimate students without an immigration background and with high socioeconomic status. Findings are discussed with regard to automated and controlled information processes.
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Teacher judgments of student performance might be biased by stereotypes, which can result in disadvantages for members of negatively stereotyped social groups. On the basis of the shifting standards theory, we examined gender and ethnic biases in student teachers’ judgments. According to this theory, whether such judgment biases are masked or revealed depends on the judgment context. Specifically, the use of subjective scales allows different standards of judgment to be applied to members of different social groups and should therefore mask biases, whereas the use of objective scales does not allow for a standard shift and should therefore reveal stereotyped expectations. The present studies tested predictions derived from this theory by varying the judgment context: using “educational standards” as a setting that requires objective scales and “inclusion” as a setting that employs subjective scales. Study 1 explored the stereotype that girls are not as good in mathematics as boys, Study 2 the stereotype that students of Turkish origin are not as good in German as nonimmigrants. Participants in two experimental vignette studies (Study 1: N = 155; Study 2: N = 265) were asked to evaluate the performance of a stereotyped or nonstereotyped target student in a context requiring ratings on either objective or subjective scales (2 × 2 between-subjects design). In line with the shifting standards theory, stereotyped students were evaluated similarly to nonstereotyped students on subjective scales but were evaluated more negatively on objective scales. Results indicate that student teachers’ judgments are biased by gender and ethnic stereotypes.
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Disparitäten bei der Leistungsbewertung von Schülern und Schülerinnen mit Migrationshintergrund konnten häufig für den Übergang zwischen Grundschule und weiterführender Schule nachgewiesen werden. In der hier vorgestellten Studie wurde geprüft, ob sich solche Zusammenhänge auch nach dem Übergang auf das Gymnasium zeigen. Untersucht wurde der Effekt des Migrationshintergrundes von Schüler_innen auf die Leistungsbewertung im Fach Mathematik bei Klassenarbeiten und Zeugnissen. Daten von 1487 Gymnasiastinnen und Gymnasiasten und deren 56 Lehrkräften im Fach Mathematik zu fünf Messzeitpunkten (Beginn der fünften Klasse bis zum Ende der sechsten Klasse) zeigten, dass Schüler_innen nicht-deutscher Herkunft auch unter Kontrolle von Leistungen in standardisierten Tests signifikant schlechtere Klassenarbeits- und Zeugnisnoten erhielten. Der Effekt blieb im Zeitverlauf stabil. Diese Ergebnisse unterstützen die Hypothese, dass sich Urteilsfehler bei der Benotung von Leistungen von Schülern und Schülerinnen mit nichtdeutscher Herkunft zeigen.
Teachers’ judgments about students’ knowledge and skills can be global or specific depending on the diagnostic situation during teaching. We test the relationship between these judgments, their accuracy, and whether global judgment (GJ) accuracy can be measured by aggregating specific judgments (SJ). Judgments of 52 primary school teachers about their students’ achievement in a standardized mathematics test were assessed. SJs and GJs correlated high. However, SJs were slightly more accurate than GJs. Additionally, teachers’ GJ accuracy is not similar to the accuracy of aggregated SJs. We conclude that teachers use different judgment strategies for GJs and SJs. Link:,Gtqvg43N
Teachers’ attitudes toward ethnic minority students might differ by students’ gender and the type of school teachers are working in because of different motivations for teaching and different school practices. Hence, the aim of the current research was to investigate elementary (n = 82) and secondary school (n = 82) teachers’ implicit and explicit attitudes toward male and female ethnic minority students. Teachers worked on either a male or a female Implicit Association Test and filled out a gender-specific questionnaire for measuring explicit attitudes. The results showed that elementary and secondary school teachers had negative implicit attitudes toward ethnic minority students, independent of students’ gender. Whereas secondary school teachers were implicitly more positive toward boys, elementary school teachers were implicitly more positive toward girls. Elementary school teachers were more enthusiastic about teaching ethnic minority boys than girls. The findings provide the first insights into differences in attitudes between elementary and secondary school teachers.
Teachers’ judgments of students’ academic achievement are not only affected by the achievement themselves but also by several other characteristics such as ethnicity, gender, and minority status. In real-life classrooms, achievement and further characteristics are often confounded. We disentangled achievement, ethnicity and minority status and examined whether the achievement of ethnic minority students is judged according to the predominant expectation (expectation hypothesis) and whether teachers’ judgment accuracy is influenced by students’ ethnicity or their minority status (ethnicity hypothesis or minority hypothesis). We conducted 4 experimental studies with a computer simulation (the Simulated Classroom). In Studies 1 and 2 with N = 34 and N = 30 participants, we implemented Turkish (Study 1) and Asian students (Study 2) as minorities. In contrast to the expectation hypothesis, the expectations attributed to the achievement of ethnic minority students did not bias teachers’ judgments. In both studies we found greater judgment accuracy for ethnic minority students, thereby probing the ethnicity hypothesis. In Study 3 with N = 48 participants, we further disentangled ethnicity and minority using German students as minority students, thus probing the minority hypothesis. Again, minority students were judged more accurately. Implementing gender (male vs. female) as the minority characteristic in Study 4, with N = 52 participants, yielded the same result: Minority students were judged more accurately, therefore supporting the minority hypothesis. Thus, classroom characteristics need to be considered in research on teachers’ judgment accuracy to clarify the influence of individual student characteristics and composition effects beyond individual effects.