ERIC Number: ED291841
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1987-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
School Performance, Status Relations, and the Structure of Sentiment: Bringing the Teacher Back In. Report No. 9.
Alexander, Karl L.; And Others
Previous research has failed to support the widely held assumption that the academic difficulties experienced by many minority and low socioeconomic status youth are due to their "outsider" standing vis-a-vis the middle class culture thought to govern the social relations of schooling. This analysis suggests that this proposition errs in exaggerating the extent of cultural hegemony in the way schools work. Examination of data on the first grade experiences of a diverse sample of 825 urban public school children demonstrates that not all teachers are equally given to status-related biases. In particular, teachers' own social origins exercise a strong influence on how they react to the status attributes of their students. Especially striking are the disadvantages accruing to the low status pupils of high status teachers: their teachers hold to different behavior standards than their parents, consider the pupils to be less mature, hold lower performance expectations for them, and score exceptionally low on a measure of perceived school climate. Year-end marks and standardized test scores of low status students are depressed by these indicators of pupil-teacher social distance and teacher disaffection. A model of pupil-teacher "congruence" or "fit" is proposed as an alternative to the cultural hegemony framework, and the implications of such "fit" for the interpersonal dynamics of the classroom are discussed. Data are presented on four tables. A list of 45 references is included. (Author/BJV)
Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Elementary School Teachers, Expectation, Grade 1, Low Income Groups, Primary Education, Scores, Social Bias, Social Cognition, Socioeconomic Status, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Background, Teacher Behavior, Teacher Influence, Teacher Student Relationship, Test Results, Urban Education
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Grant (W.T.) Foundation, New York, NY.; Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for Research on Elementary and Middle Schools, Baltimore, MD.