Teacher Bias

Teacher bias occurs when teachers form expectations of their students based on factors other than students’ prior academic achievement, such as their gender, race, socioeconomic status, or information gained from another source (e.g., other teachers, parents). These expectations often lead teachers to treat their students differently, typically treating students who they believe to be smart in a positive manner and treating students who they think are less competent in a negative manner. Often, girls (depending on academic domain), racial minority students, and lower income students are the target of lower teacher expectations. Teacher bias has negative consequences for students’ academic achievement. This entry describes the history of research on teacher bias—also known as teacher expectancy effects—describes the consequences of teacher bias, and finally applies ...

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