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The link between teacher-assigned grades and classroom socioeconomic composition: The role of classroom behavior, motivation, and teacher characteristics

  • Teacher judgments in terms of grades, proficiency assessments, and recommending placement in ability groups can have important consequences for a child’s future educational path. Whether or not students’ sociodemographic background characteristics are systematically related to teacher judgments has been a controversial topic of discussion. Using data from the TIMSS-Transition Study (N = 3285 fourth graders) administered across 13 German federal states in the 2006–2007 school year and survey data from parents and teachers, we investigated whether or not the average classroom socioeconomic status is reflected in teacher judgments and also examined possible underlying processes. We also probed the role of teachers’ own socioeconomic backgrounds (at the age of 16) in their later susceptibility to differentially judge students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and in differentially composed classrooms. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that, after controlling for differences in achievement (as indicated by standardized tests),Teacher judgments in terms of grades, proficiency assessments, and recommending placement in ability groups can have important consequences for a child’s future educational path. Whether or not students’ sociodemographic background characteristics are systematically related to teacher judgments has been a controversial topic of discussion. Using data from the TIMSS-Transition Study (N = 3285 fourth graders) administered across 13 German federal states in the 2006–2007 school year and survey data from parents and teachers, we investigated whether or not the average classroom socioeconomic status is reflected in teacher judgments and also examined possible underlying processes. We also probed the role of teachers’ own socioeconomic backgrounds (at the age of 16) in their later susceptibility to differentially judge students from different socioeconomic backgrounds and in differentially composed classrooms. Multilevel regression analyses revealed that, after controlling for differences in achievement (as indicated by standardized tests), teachers’ judgments were associated with the classrooms’ socioeconomic composition, and this finding could not be attributed to the average levels of motivation or behavior in the classroom. Teachers were similarly likely to exhibit such differential judgments regardless of their own socioeconomic background. These findings are discussed in the context of their implications for educational policy.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Andrea Westphal, Michael Becker, Miriam Vock, Kai Maaz, Marko Neumann, Nele McElvany
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cedpsych.2016.06.004
ISSN:0361-476X
ISSN:1090-2384
Parent Title (English):Contemporary educational psychology
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publication:San Diego
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2016
Year of Completion:2016
Release Date:2020/03/22
Tag:Classroom composition; Grading; Multilevel modeling; Teacher background; Teacher judgments
Volume:46
Pagenumber:10
First Page:218
Last Page:227
Peer Review:Referiert
Institution name at the time of publication:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Profilbereich Bildungswissenschaften