ERIC Number: ED458612
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997-Sep
Teacher Predictions of Young Children's Literacy Success or Failure in Four Primary Schools.
Feiler, Anthony; Webster, Alec
Research into professional decisionmaking indicates that judgments tend not to be made on a rational, systematic basis, but are often formed rapidly and intuitively, from a limited set of cues. This study addresses the issue of if and how teachers assess the literacy competencies of young children prior to starting formal schooling. Seven Reception teachers from four primary schools in England were asked to make literacy predictions for the incoming cohort of children. Data are presented based on interviews with the teachers, completion of baseline literacy assessments, and the scrutiny of daily reading records. The study explores the factors which influence teacher predictions for 30 children, including 17 for whom literacy success was predicted and 13 for whom literacy difficulties were anticipated. The study shows that teachers do indeed form early judgments about children based on pragmatic factors, with a strong link between teacher predictions and families' socioeconomic status. Importantly, initial representations of children as "likely to fail" tend to become more permanent over time, whilst teachers also tended to provide less support for children expected to perform poorly. Implications for professionals are highlighted in relation to the Code of Practice. (Contains 62 references and 4 tables of data.) (Author/RS)
Descriptors: Decision Making, Elementary Education, Elementary School Teachers, Foreign Countries, Reading Achievement, Self Fulfilling Prophecies, Socioeconomic Status, Student Evaluation, Teacher Expectations of Students, Teacher Influence
Full text at: http://brs.leeds.ac.uk/cgi-bin/brs_engine.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the British Educational Research Association (York, England, September 11-14, 1997).