Biased teachers push down school achievements

17th December 2010, Comments 0 comments


Teachers with preconceived ideas about migrant students and children with learning disabilities have a negative effect on school achievements.

This is the conclusion of a study published today by behavioural scientists at the Radboud University in the Dutch city of Nijmegen. The scientists ivestigated the attitudes of 41 teachers at primary schools toward 434 school children. Most of the teachers had lower expectations of school children from a migrant background and of children suffering from learning disabilities such as dyslexia.

The researchers used CITO tests placement exams to determine what type of secondary school a child should go to to assess the influence of these preconceived notions on the children’s achievements. The CITO tests showed that on average children from a migrant background did less well that their native Dutch peers. However, the difference was even greater when their teacher was biased toward them.


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