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Ethnic Discrimination in Teachers' Evaluations of Pupils' Achievements / אפלייה עדתית בהערכת המורים את הישגי תלמידיהם

סורל קאהן and Sorel Cahan
Megamot / מגמות
Vol. כ"ג‎, No. 3/4, אינטגראציה וחינוך בישראל‎ (שבט תשל"ח / דצמבר 1977), pp. 238-247
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23650249
Page Count: 10
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Ethnic Discrimination in Teachers' Evaluations of Pupils' Achievements / אפלייה עדתית בהערכת המורים את הישגי תלמידיהם
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Abstract

Do Israeli elementary teachers discriminate against pupils of Afro-Asian origin in their evaluation of achievement? Do children, equal in competence and objective achievement, obtain different evaluations, depending on their cultural origin? Previous studies indicate the existence among Israeli teachers of prejudice in general towards pupils of Afro-Asian origin. Might not such prejudice provide the motivational basis for discrimination? Despite the educational and social relevance of the issue, there has not been to date any large-scale investigation of it, and there is almost complete ignorance concerning the existence of discrimination, its relative frequency and intensity. The present paper reports the results of such an investigation, based on teachers' evaluations of pupils' achievements in 79 integrated grade 4 classrooms. The conceptual framework of the study views discrimination in the context of the educational system as a classroom phenomenon. Discrimination in teachers' evaluation of pupils' achievements according to cultural origin is defined, therefore, at the classroom level, and is expressed by the difference between two correlation coefficients, as follows: r1, the within-class correlation coefficient between pupils' cultural origin (1 = Africa-Asia, 2 = Europe-America) and objective achievement test scores, and r2, the correlation coefficient between cultural origin and the teachers' evaluation of achievement. Discrimination is said to exist when r1 ≠ r2 for a given class. The difference between the two correlation coefficients indicates both the magnitude of the discrimination and its direction. The within class comparison between r1 and r2 revealed no significant difference in any of the classes. Thus, it can be stated that the relationship found between the pupils' cultural origin and the teachers' evaluations is a truthful reflection of the relationship prevailing in those classes between cultural origin and objective achievement. The results are interpreted as unambiguously indicative of a "no discrimination effect" in the teachers' evaluation of achievement. The "no discrimination" conclusion holds for each and every individual class in the sample, and thus — for the sample as a whole. It also precludes the possibility of discrimination being a function of the teacher and/or the class characteristics. The "no discrimination" conclusion of the study is examined in the light of contrary evidence in the United States, and the "natural" or "unplanned" nature of the integration process at the elementary school level in Israel.

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