The more similar the personalities of teachers and their pupils, the more likely the teachers are to grade them highly, according to new research from Germany. The findings again open up the debate around the subtle biases teachers have about their pupils and how important it is to try and minimise their impact on children’s progress through school. Tobias Rausch from the University of Bamberg in Germany and his colleagues carried out an investigation with Grade 8 classes in Germany. First, they asked 94 teachers to rate their 293 pupils, aged 13 to 14, on reading comprehension and some areas of mathematics using a scale from one (very weak) to five (very good). The teachers were then asked to estimate if each pupil would get specific tasks in reading and mathematics correct or not. Both the teachers and pupils also then completed a short personality questionnaire measuring the “big five” dimensions of personality: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, openness and neuroticism. Finally the pupils were given tests of mathematics and reading.
Tymms, P. (2015). Teachers show bias to pupils who share their personality