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Pygmalion in instruction? Tracking, teacher reward structures, and educational inequality

Pygmalion in instruction? Tracking, teacher reward structures, and educational inequality I combine sociological and economic research to test a new theoretical model of the causes and consequences of teacher responses to students’ track location. I examine the impact of teacher reward structures on educational inequality by analyzing how grading practices affect students’ effort and achievement across tracks. Differences in grading practices determine incentive structures for student behavior and educational investments and thus may be an important mechanism in explaining track effects on academic achievement. I apply student fixed effects models across tracks to the NELS:88 and find that, first, track placement affects achievement, second, although grading practices affect achievement, they only explain a minor part of the track effect, and, third, teacher expectations and perceived class ability level explain the positive track effect for high-track students. These findings suggest that high-track students have higher achievement because their teachers perceive them as better students. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Psychology of Education Springer Journals

Pygmalion in instruction? Tracking, teacher reward structures, and educational inequality

Social Psychology of Education , Volume 21 (5) – May 31, 2018

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature
Subject
Education; Education, general; Personality and Social Psychology; Sociology of Education
ISSN
1381-2890
eISSN
1573-1928
DOI
10.1007/s11218-018-9452-z
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

I combine sociological and economic research to test a new theoretical model of the causes and consequences of teacher responses to students’ track location. I examine the impact of teacher reward structures on educational inequality by analyzing how grading practices affect students’ effort and achievement across tracks. Differences in grading practices determine incentive structures for student behavior and educational investments and thus may be an important mechanism in explaining track effects on academic achievement. I apply student fixed effects models across tracks to the NELS:88 and find that, first, track placement affects achievement, second, although grading practices affect achievement, they only explain a minor part of the track effect, and, third, teacher expectations and perceived class ability level explain the positive track effect for high-track students. These findings suggest that high-track students have higher achievement because their teachers perceive them as better students.

Journal

Social Psychology of EducationSpringer Journals

Published: May 31, 2018

References