[en] Accuracy in assessing academic achievement and potential is a core component of teachers’ diagnostic competence. Large-scale studies in the Luxembourgish and German educational systems show that teachers’ secondary school track decisions are biased by a student’s social background. Therefore, biased assessment of students may contribute to the social inequalities observed in secondary schools in both countries. Within a social cognitive framework of dual-process theories, bias is explained by heuristic information processing, which, in contrast to information-integrating processing, relies on stereotype-based expectations to form judgments about students. A series of experimental studies investigated the information processing strategies of teachers, identifying a low accountability of the decision setting and a high consistency of student information as key moderators that promote stereotype-based information processing strategies in teachers’ school track decisions. Similar effects were shown for novice teachers at the beginning of their professional career. Further research evaluated intervention modules based on increased accountability, feedback, and increased knowledge about judgment formation processes. Results demonstrated that all evaluated intervention modules led to higher judgment accuracy and more information-integrating processing. Reviewing current models of teachers’ diagnostic competence, the findings on teachers’ information processing emphasized the need to include situational and process-oriented components into models of diagnostic competence. Beside a cognitive component – the ability to form accurate and unbiased judgments – diagnostic competence includes an adaptive choice of information processing strategies, depending on the accountability and information consistency of the judgment setting. Results on intervention modules gave insights how to increase diagnostic competence in teacher education programs.
FnR Project :
FNR784116 - School Transitions From Primary To Secondary School: Development Of Intervention Strategies To Improve The Quality Of Teachers' Transition Decisions, 2010 (01/05/2011-30/04/2014) - Sabine Krolak-schwerdt