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School Climate

"Who Believes in Me?: The Effect of Student-Teacher Demographics on Teacher Expectations"

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A new study suggests teachers' own backgrounds deeply affect what they expect from students.

Researchers from American and Johns Hopkins universities used an ongoing federal longitudinal study starting in 2002 to analyze data on 8,000 students, each of whom had two teachers predicting how far the student would go in school.

When the researchers held students' income and prior academic achievement constant, they found significantly higher expectations for college completion when the teacher and the student were the same race. Teachers who were not black were 12 percentage points more likely than black teachers to think their black student would go no further than high school.

Vol. 35, Issue 05, Page 5

Published in Print: September 23, 2015, as School Climate
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