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Teachers´ Attitudes toward Students with High- and Low-Educated Parents
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke; Glock, Sabine
2019GEBF 2019: Lehren und Lernen in Bildungsinstitutionen


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Keywords :
implicit attitudes; teachers; student characteristics
Abstract :
[en] Background In several countries, school tracking is used to group students with similar academic potential to optimize instruction. Teachers often have a more or less deciding vote, which school track would suit different students based on academic achievement and potential (Ansalone and Biafora, 2004). Given the differential qualifications associated with completion of the different school tracks, teachers’ abilities to correctly assign students to different tracks will not only affect the students´ educational pathways, but also has a long lasting effect on career opportunities and general wellbeing in future adult life. Research shows that tracking recommendations mainly rely on students’ abilities (e.g., Caro, et al., 2009; Klapproth, et al., 2013; Marks, 2006). However, non-academic related student characteristics such as the socioeconomic status (SES) of the parents and —closely related (Reardon, 2011)—the parental educational level also affect teachers´ tracking decisions, either indirectly via grades or directly via the tracking decision itself (Bauer and Riphahn, 2006; Caro et al., 2009; de Boer, et al., 2010; Ditton, Krüsken, and Schauenberg, 2005; Maaz, et al., 2008; Timmermans, et al., 2015; Wagner, et al., 2009). Indeed, research has provided evidence for such stereotype bias in teachers’ judgments, leading to disadvantages for certain social groups (Peterson, et al., 2016; van den Bergh, et al., 2010). Hence, the aim of our study was the investigation of teachers’ attitudes toward students in relation to the educational level of parents. Method The aim of the current study was to investigate teachers´ implicit and explicit attitudes toward students with differentially educated parents. Implicit attitudes were measured using an implicit association task (IAT). The first name of the student was used as a proxy for the educational level of parents (see Onland & Bloothooft, 2008), whereby we created separate versions for boys and girls. Participating teachers (N=70) were randomly divided in two groups whereby the first group completed the IAT-boys version and the other group the IAT-girls version. Explicit attitudes were measured using a questionnaire (adapted from Glock, et al., 2016). Results: Participants indicated positive implicit attitudes toward students with highly educated parents, independent of the gender of the student. More specifically, an independent t test revealed that the mean IAT-D scores for boys and girls did not differ, t(68)=0.47, p=.64, d=0.12. The IAT-D score for the whole sample (M=0.81, SD=0.61) was significantly different from zero, t(69)=11.14, p<.001, d=1.33, reflecting more positive implicit attitudes toward highly educated parents. Teachers did not express differential explicit beliefs regarding the learning and social behaviors of students based on the educational level of the parents (i.e., subscale scores were significantly lower than the mean of the scale, t(65)=4.26, p<.001, d=0.53), whereas their expectations concerning the motivation and ambitions or educational chances of these students were neutral. Although the three subscales within the explicit attitudes measure were substantially associated (correlations ranging from r = .39 to r =.74), no association between explicit and implicit attitudes measures was found (correlations range from r = -.07 to r = .08). Conclusion: Teachers’ attitudes seem to be an important factor, which can guide teachers´ judgments and behaviors, and could partly explain differences in educational equity for students with similar academic profiles, but differentially educated parents. The positive implicit attitudes in favor of students with highly educated parents imply more favorable judgments for and behavior toward these students and deeper work is required to ensure teachers’ fair treatment of all students. The dissociation between implicit and explicit attitudes may be an indication of the social sensitivity of the relationship between students´ social background and educational achievements and opportunities.
Disciplines :
Education & instruction
Author, co-author :
Pit-Ten Cate, Ineke ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)
Glock, Sabine ;  University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education (FLSHASE) > Education, Culture, Cognition and Society (ECCS)
External co-authors :
Language :
Title :
Teachers´ Attitudes toward Students with High- and Low-Educated Parents
Publication date :
February 2019
Event name :
GEBF 2019: Lehren und Lernen in Bildungsinstitutionen
Event organizer :
Gesellschaft für empirische Bildungsforschung
Event place :
Cologne, Germany
Event date :
25 to 27 February 2019
Audience :
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since 15 January 2019


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