Stereotyped at Seven?

Stereotyped at Seven?

It was interesting to read a recent survey published by the Journal of Social Policy that found that teachers tended to stereotype their pupils depending on poverty, ethnicity and gender.  Does this really still happen in this day and age?

The study followed 12,000 children born in 2000.  Almost 5000 children at the age of 7 were judged as being “well above average/above average/average/below average/well below average” at maths and reading.  The children also completed tests in Word Reading and Progress in Mathematics.

It came to light that children were less likely to be judged as ‘above average’ at reading by their teacher if they were boys, from low-income families, or recognised as having special educational needs, despite the fact they performed equally well as other pupils in the reading test.  There weren’t so many differences in maths, although boys were more likely to be judged higher than girls.

It was suggested that efforts should be made to put interventions in place within teacher training to prevent stereotyping of pupils in schools.

When I did my teacher training in the early 1990s, I remember gender issues in maths being quite a focus.  We heard that it wasn’t good to use multiple choice questions in maths as girls were more reluctant to have a guess and therefore performed worse than boys on that type of test.  There’s been a big push to encourage girls to study maths post 16 and I do feel that the old assumption that boys are generally better at maths than girls is fading away, but this study does seem to show that the old attitudes do prevail.

123maths builds confidence for everyone!

I feel this is quite a controversial subject, it would be great to hear your thoughts on the study and you can read the full report here.