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The face of achievement : influences on teacher decision making about aboriginal students 2005

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T H E F A C E O F A C H I E V E M E N T : INFLUENCES ON TEACHER DECISION M A K I N G ABOUT ABORIGINAL STUDENTS by T A S H A ANASTASIA RILEY B.F.A., The University of Western Ontario, 1997 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF M A S T E R of ARTS in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Sociology of Education) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITSH C O L U M B I A August 2005 ©Tasha Anastasia Riley, 2005 A B S T R A C T In British Columbia, the issue of low graduation rates among Aboriginal students has been addressed often. Some researchers have claimed that racism is a factor that impedes the progress of Aboriginal students. Since teachers' decisions potentially have a profound impact upon students, this study investigated whether teachers discriminate when they make decisions about students. Fifty pre-service teachers recommended 24 fictional students for remedial, average or advanced programs based upon the program eligibility criteria. Results indicated that students whom teachers were led to believe were of Aboriginal ancestry and students whom they were led to believe were students for whom English was a second language were consistently under-rated in comparison to their non-Aboriginal counterparts regardless of the students' prior academic record. ii T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S ABSTRACT II T A B L E OF CONTENTS IH LIST OF TABLES IV LIST OF FIGURES V ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS VI CHAPTER I: OVERVIEW AND SUMMARY 1 BACKGROUND TO PROBLEM 3 CHAPTER 11: LITERATURE REVIEW 6 LITERATURE ON RACISM 6 RACISM IN OUR SCHOOLS? 6 LITERATURE ON TEACHER EXPECTATIONS 11 EXPECTATIONS: 11 TEACHER EXPECTATIONS: 13 SELF-FULLFILLING PROPHECY AND ROSENTHAL 14 REACTIONS TO ROSENTHAL 15 EXPECTATIONS AND ACCURACY 17 EXPECTATIONS AND ACCUMULATION 18 SUSTAINING EXPECTATION EFFECT, HALO EFFECT & PERCEPTUAL BIASES 20 EXPECTATIONS, RACE AND ETHNICITY AND UNDERCHIEVEMENT 24 LITERATURE ON ATTRIBUTION AND STEREOTYPES 27 ATTRIBUTION, RACE AND ETHNICTY AND UNDERCHIEVEMENT 27 STEREOTYPES AND TEACHERS' EXPECTATIONS 30 ATTRIBUTION THEORY AND TEACHERS' EXPECTATIONS 33 SUMMARY OF LITERATURE REVIEW 42 CHAPTER III: METHODOLOGY 44 CHAPTER IV: RESULTS AND DISCUSSION 49 CHAPTER V: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 60 TEACHERS' DECISIONS REGARDING ABORIGINAL AND NON-ABORIGINAL GROUPS 60 WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR TEACHERS?-PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS 61 LIMITATIONS AND WAYS IN WHICH STUDY COULD BE IMPROVED 62 RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FUTURE INVESTIGATIONS 63 CONCLUSION 64 BIBLIOGRAPHY 66 i i i L I S T O F T A B L E S TABLES TABLE 1: WEB-SITE INSTRUCTIONS FOR PRE-SERVICE TEACHERS 47 T A B L E 2: SAMPLE STUDENT RECORD CARD 48 T A B L E 3: COMPARISON OF MEAN CLASS ASSIGNMENTS BY GENDER, ETHNIC GROUP AND G P A LEVEL 50 T A B L E 4: CORRELATIONS AMONG THE VARIABLES 51 T A B L E 5: PAIRED SAMPLES T-TEST BETWEEN BOYS AND GIRLS AT EACH G P A LEVEL 55 T A B L E 6:ONE-WAY COMPARISONS AT EACH G P A 56 T A B L E 7: PAIRED SAMPLES T-TEST BETWEEN EACH OF THE 3 GROUPS (ESL/ABORIGINAL/NON-ABORIGINAL) 57 T A B L E 8: COMPARISON OF ABORIGINAL AND NON-ABORIGINAL AND G P A LEVEL (GIRLS AND BOYS COMBINED) 59 iv PROFILE PLOTS: LIST OF FIGURES FIGURE 1: PROFILE PLOT OF THREE-WAY INTERACTION BETWEEN FEMALE, GROUP, AND G P A 52 FIGURE 2: PROFILE PLOT OF THREE-WAY INTERACTION BETWEEN MALE, GROUP, AND G P A 53 FIGURE 3 : PROFILE PLOTS BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE OVER G P A 54 FIGURE 4: PROFILE PLOT OF COMPARISON BETWEEN MEAN CLASS ASSIGNMENTS OF GROUP OVER G P A 56 FIGURE 5: PROFILE PLOT OF COMPARISON OF MEAN CLASS ASSIGNMENT FOR ABORIGINAL AND NON-ABORIGINAL AND G P A L E V E L 59 v A C K N O W L E D G E M E N T S I would first like to thank my supervisor, Dr. Charles Ungerleider for his consistent support, encouragement and guidance throughout this process. I also admire his unique ability to maintain incredible patience while answering all of my incessant questions and abundant emails. I would also like to thank Dr. Jo-ann Archibald for her many helpful suggestions and comments regarding this thesis. This study would not have been possible without the help and expertise of many individuals. In particular I would like to thank Sharon Hu, whose expertise in computer programming was essential to the study. I would also like to thank Dr. Kathleen Bloom, Dr. Maria Trache, Hilary Pierce, and Mary Ungerleider for their help and assistance. Though it is not possible to name them all here, I would also like to thank the many friends who have supported me throughout this process. A very special thank-you goes out to my friend (and neighbour), Dr. Murray Hoover, who has been one of my biggest supporters and has remained a constant source of encouragement these past two years. His undying thirst for knowledge continues to be an inspiration to me. Finally, I would like to thank my wonderful family, whose love and support has been invaluable to me. I would like to thank my brother and sister, Galan and Courtney Riley, for keeping me in balance and reminding me of the important things in life. I would like to thank my father, Dr. Alan Riley, whose perpetual curiosity for the world around him has helped ignite my own passion for acquiring knowledge. Most of all, I would like to thank my mother, Dr. Sharon Rich, whose ability to combine strength, warmth, knowledge and passion in both her teaching and her life continue to both astound and inspire me. Her consistent support and guidance have enabled me to get through many difficult times and her unfaltering belief in my own abilities has given me the strength to persevere. vi C H A P T E R I: O V E R V I E W AND S U M M A R Y My brother is good with numbers. At least this is what everybody said. "He is absolutely brilliant with numbers." "He is going to be a business man." "Just look at him counting those blocks." My brother was three years old. Twenty-two years later, my brother is an accountant doing risk assessment for a large insurance company in Calgary. My brother is good with numbers. Yet think about this. My brother is also a very good writer. That is his passion. Sometimes he dreams of leaving his high powered job in Calgary, the one for which he keeps getting raises and promotions. He imagines going back to school and taking courses in creative writing. He dreams of writing novels. And so sometimes I ponder this dilemma because although my brother is good at numbers he is also good at other things. W. I. Thomas, the dean of American sociologists once stated that "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences" (Thomas as cited by Merton, 1948, pp.193). When my brother sits at his desk staring out at the Calgary skyline does he ever wonder if he is where he is now because he wants to be or because that was where everyone, including himself, believed he should be? Robert K. Merton first coined the phrase "self-fulfilling prophecy" to describe the process in which in the beginning a false belief regarding a person or situation evokes a new behaviour which in turn "makes the originally false conception come true" (Merton, 1948, pp.195). He demonstrates his point by recounting a situation in 1932 where The Last National Bank, once a stable financial structure, is brought to its knees by the erroneous belief held by depositors regarding the bank's insolvency. Believing this rumour to be true, depositors anxiously pulled their savings from the bank and thus transformed a benign rumour into fact (Merton, 1948, pp.194). To what extent my brother could have been labelled a "target" of self- fulfilling prophecy is debatable. My brother was indeed "good" at counting blocks just as are 1 many young children at that age. So in this case, to say my brother was good at numbers was not a false definition of a situation but was rather a speculation without foundation. We had no empirical proof to recognize whether my brother was any better at math than, perhaps the kid next door or our neighbours down the block. So while the statement "he is good at numbers" could be false, one could also argue that my brother did have ability with numbers and it was this ability, combined with family expectations that enabled him to excel in math. Determining the effects that one person's expectations have upon another is no easy under-taking. Yet determining the effects of teacher expectations within a classroom is crucial since it is often teachers who determine what kinds of opportunities will be available for students. For example, placing students in remedial or advanced classrooms not only establishes the type of instruction students receive but may also determine their likelihood of attaining higher education since advanced courses are a prerequisite to university acceptance. Thus a decision made in the early stages of an educational career could determine a student's life prospects. Some studies (Gottfredson, 1995; Hall, 1993; Kolb & Jussim, 1994; Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Taylor & Reeves, 1993) have indicated that a teacher's expectations for a student have a great impact on that student's success or failure within a classroom. In his article "The Self-fulfilling Prophecy" Merton also illustrates how expectations can be used to shape and maintain ethnic and racial discrimination. He describes how the false belief that African-Americans are "inferior" in education may become a reality when the dominant in- group spends less than one fifth as much on education for African American students as it does on White students (Merton, 1948, pp. 199). Even though Merton's article does not specifically discuss teacher expectations and student achievement, this example seems to invite speculations by other researchers that teacher expectations for a student may be influenced by a variety of 2 factors including: race, gender, age, handicap, socio-economic status, appearance and perceived effort (Janes, 1996; Anderson, 1991; Gottfredson, 1995). Since teachers' decisions potentially have such a profound impact upon students, it is imperative to determine how and why such decisions are made in order to determine whether they are discriminatory. In this paper I explore the factors that may impinge on teacher decision- making and suggest why these are important issues for policy makers to consider when addressing the situation of Aboriginal graduation rates. My suggestion is that if teachers have negative-stereotypes towards students of a particular race or ethnicity, these stereotypes and attributions will effect teacher's expectations of these particular students. Through the integration of literature on racism, teacher expectation and attribution theory, I am able to construct a framework that allows me to explore the foundational question for my study, "When students are assigned to educational opportunities, how much of the decision is based upon achievement and how much is based upon the student's ascribed characteristics?" B A C K G R O U N D T O P R O B L E M First Nations students continue to be at a greater risk of dropping out of school than non- First Nations students. Education Indicators in Canada reported "in 1996, 42% of the Aboriginal working-age population had less than a high school education, compared with 25% of the non- Aboriginal population (Council of Ministers of Education, 1999, p. 96). Although this number decreased to 39% in 2001, a large discrepancy still remains between First Nations and Non-First Nations students (Council of Ministers of Education, 2003, p. 147). In addition, the 2004 Report Card on Aboriginal Education in British Columbia stated that "on average First Nations students 3 take less than one of the senior level provincially examinable courses in contrast to non-First Nations students who take nearly three" (Cowley and Easton, 2004, p.3). The proportion of the school age population with Aboriginal1 ancestry is increasing more rapidly than the non-Aboriginal population. What once seemed like a small problem is growing into a much larger problem, threatening the attainment of the Government's avowed goal of improving student achievement. An economically sound future for Aboriginal communities is dependant upon First Nations educational success, a lack of which could mean greater dependence on social assistance programs; involvement in criminal activity (Correctional Service Canada, 2003, p.2); and stress on Canada's healthcare system (Lowery, 2003, p.l). Alternatively, adequate educational attainment would provide First Nations students with the knowledge necessary to effectively function in today's society. This in turn may help ensure that First Nations people are competitive within the job-market. Furthermore, the increased numbers of Aboriginal leaders and educators would provide role models, encouraging younger generations of First Nations students to remain in school. Aboriginal students, families and communities continue to face challenges in the education system. A person's educational level often relates to a greater probability of employment and occupational status. Over one-half of Aboriginal people aged 20 to 24 have not completed high school and are much less likely to pursue post -secondary education than any other group. (Canadian Council on Social Development, 2000, p. 15). In a society in which at 1 The term Aboriginal is used in this thesis as an umbrella label used to encompass many different groups including Status/Non-status Aboriginals, Aboriginal peoples on and off reserve, those with Aboriginal Ancestry and Inuit peoples. I also acknowledge the variations of ways someone may choose to identify him/herself including Aboriginal peoples, Amerindians, First Nations, First Peoples, Indians, Indigenous Peoples, Native peoples, and North American Indians. I acknowledge the complexities both within these groups and within the terms people may choose to identify themselves with, however for the purpose of this study, the term 'Aboriginal' was chosen as it is the term most commonly used in the British Columbia school system. In all cases 1 have capitalized the word "Aboriginal" in the way that other nationalities are also capitalized. For further discussion on the complexities of terminology, please refer to Friesen & Frieson (2002) "Aboriginal Education in Canada: A Plea for Integration" 4 least a high school diploma is required for minimum wage employment, it is crucial that more attention is paid to the needs of Aboriginal students. When Aboriginal peoples do not successfully complete high school, they are prevented from becoming active and contributing members of society. The "Unequal Access" report by the Canadian Council on Social Development reveals that: • Aboriginal peoples, visible minorities and immigrants have more difficulty than others in finding employment in all regions in Canada. • Aboriginal people are less likely to hold managerial and professional jobs than their White counterparts. • Aboriginal people and visible minorities are over-represented in the bottom 20 percent and are under-represented in the top 20 percent of income earners (Canadian Council on Social Development, 2003, p.3). In British Columbia, there have been many attempts to address the issue of low graduation rates among Aboriginal students at a current annual cost of 45 million/year (Ministry of Education Budget, 2004). These measures include: Aboriginal education improvement agreements, British Columbia Teacher's Federation policy for First Nations education, First Nation's educational policy, Aboriginal language and cultural programs, Aboriginal support services, curricula updates for Aboriginal course content, anti-racist and multicultural strategies, and teacher training programs for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal teachers. Notwithstanding the modest increase in graduate rates which may be due to successful students identifying themselves as Aboriginals (Aboriginal Education Improvement Agreement, 2004), we still do not know what factors impede or facilitate the educational success of Aboriginal students. 5 CHAPTER II: LITERATURE REVIEW LITERATURE ON RACISM RACISM IN OUR SCHOOLS? Some researchers (May, 1999; Moodley, 1999; Nieto, 1999; Dei, Karumanchery and Karumanchery-Luik, 2004; Ungerleider, 2003) have claimed that racism in the wider society and in schools is a factor that impedes the progress of Aboriginal students and that anti-racist policies would improve the situation faced by Aboriginal learners. Researchers (McCarthy, C. and Crichlow, W. 1993; Dei, 1996; Moodley, 1999) have argued that overt and covert hierarchies within the school system privilege some voices while silencing others. The results have meant unequal opportunities and differential outcomes for students depending on race, ethnicity, i gender, sexuality, religion, culture, class and disability (Dei, 1996, p. 20). Many of these researchers (Nieto, 1999; Dei, 2003) have grown tired of a society that continues to blame families and homes of failing students rather than initiating a more critical investigation of the school system itself. Factors such as a student's minority group status, poverty, single-parent households, non-English background, and having a poorly educated mother (Pallas et al., 1989; Neito, 1999) have all been used as reasons to explain why Canadian schools continue to fail Aboriginal and minority children. This trend has left some researchers (Garcia, 2001; hooks, 2003) fearing that unless society begins to critically examine the policies and practices within the school system, a dominant White patriarchal society will continue to enforce and legitimize these inequalities based on social differences. Their general conclusion is that unless racism is recognized as real, current stereotypes and biases woven into the curriculum and passed on by teachers throughout the nation's classrooms will continue to favor some groups while impeding the opportunities of others (Garcia, 2001). 6 / Other researchers (Hall, 1993; Strong, 1998; Good and Nichols, 2001; Farkas, 2003; Dei, 2003) claim that it is teacher's lowered expectations for minority students that contribute to the large Aboriginal/minority drop out rates in schools. Hall (1993) claims that "racism and discrimination have a major impact on the expectations teachers have of their minority students. This, in turn, has an impact on the academic achievement of students" (Hall, 1993, p. 181). According to Hall, the subtle messages given to students about their prospective ability may inhibit some minority students from reaching their full potential. She states that the low expectations of well-intentioned teachers may also have devastating effects on students i f decisions made about those students are based on the teacher's erroneous expectations. Strong (1998) backs up these claims by using his own experience to describe how teacher's low expectations of Native American students have affected his own performance in the classroom: The counselors at my high school persistently advised me to opt for the vocational track. I took the vocational track, participated in baseball and became an expert in leather crafts. When 1 look back at my experience of low expectations from high school staff, I wonder if I sold out myself, or if the school treated me shabbily because Native American parents were not involved in school policy-making and teaching. Now I'm completing a doctorate degree beyond anyone's expectations, except myself -1 clearly see the 'race card' that was dealt to the majority of Native American students' (Strong, 1998, p.3). Farkas (2003) also agrees that teacher's perceptions and expectations of minority students probably do contribute to the increasing learning gap held between ethnic minority and white children. In his study he examines racial discrepancies within education paying particular attention to those that might be attributable to discrimination. He discusses how "critics argue that ethnic minority and low-income students are unfairly and disproportionately placed in lower ability groups, in special education, and are held back a grade and that these placements seriously reduce their opportunities for learning" (Farkas,2003, p. l 126). Farkas goes on to suggest that this may be due to the "possibility of generalized racist attitudes, either conscious or 7 unconscious, on the part of teachers and administrators" (Farkas, 2003, p. l 135). Like other researchers, he believes that the widening gap between ethnic-minority and white students cannot be explained away by citing socioeconomic levels or school differences as the problem. He argues that "even when black and white children have the same prior scores, the same measured socioeconomic status, and attend the same school, black children still gain on average about 0.02 standard deviations less in math, 0.06 standard deviation less in reading, and 0.05 standard deviations less in vocabulary each year" (Farkas, 2003, p . l 127). In addition, he claims that ethnic-minority students are more likely to be retained in grades or placed in remedial classes (Farkas, 2003, p. l 132) and suggests that considering that research has found that students placed in higher tracked classes are more likely to succeed in schools (Brophy and Good, 1974; Sirotnik, 1994; Oakes, 1995), the continuous placement of ethnic minorities in vocational classes may be a key factor as to why the gap between ethnic-minority students and white students has continued to grow. The importance of such arguments cannot be denied. However, the aforementioned literature has provided little data to back these claims. The absence of empirical evidence in the research leaves gaps that allow many to overlook the urgency of the issue, allowing the literal "gap" between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students to grow. By providing empirical evidence to demonstrate the validity of the issues cited, researchers would be able to strengthen the legitimacy of their arguments. Some researchers (Ferguson, 1998; Dei, Karumanchery and Karumanchery-Luik, 2003; Farkas, 2003) argue that it is difficult to provide "proof of the issues since "the available evidence on the extent and consequences of teacher racism are quite fragmentary" (Farkas, 2003). Others (Dei, Karumanchery and Karumanchery-Luik, 2003) feel that the very need to quantify the existence of racism undermines the argument by suggesting that racism can only be 8 "proven" sufficiently when validated by the same privileged groups that have allowed these injustices to exist (Dei, Karumanchery and Karumanchery-Luik, 2003, p.8). Kogila Adam- Moodley (1999) argues however that "oppression and racism are heavy accusations. They should not be bandied around lightly and without evidence, notwithstanding the fact that victims know when they are being discriminated against and that it is not always easy to demonstrate the barriers and hostilities experienced"(Moodley, 1999, p.141). Moodley continues by citing Morton Weinfeld, " . . . i f everything is harassment, racism and genocide, then nothing is harassment, racism or genocide" (Weinfield as cited by Moodley, 1999, p. 141). Racism is a sensitive subject. If arguments invoking claims of racism appear too indignant or rhetorical in nature, people may become dubious of the legitimacy of these claims or may even ignore them completely. This can be problematic when trying to enforce various programs to help alleviate the problem. Moodley recalls Fisher and Echols's 1992 study of the Vancouver School Board that demonstrated that, while there was sufficient support for the underlying principles of antiracist and multicultural education, when it was to be put into practice teachers were not as accommodating. One of the reasons for this lack of enthusiasm was due in part to "the inadequate provision of empirical evidence to convince teachers of the need for innovation" (Moodley, 1999, p. 148). Empirical proof provides credibility for the arguments surrounding discrimination, reinforces the legitimacy of such claims, and makes it more difficult for others to deny its existence. Empirical evidence may also help to identify particular problem areas making it easier for policy makers to see exactly where changes need be made. In addition, governments may be more sympathetic to supporting areas where a specific problem can be located. Farkas (2003) states that while it may be difficult to provide empirical proof of discrimination within the school system, it is not impossible and that "we should not rule out the possibility of 9 attempting to directly study teacher attitudes by collecting survey data, conducting social psychological field experiments (e.g. during pre-service and in-service teacher training), or even by directly observing in classrooms" (Farkas, 2003, p. l 135). Similar studies have been successfully undertaken in other potentially sensitive research areas such as racism within the Canadian police force (see Ungerleider, C. S., (1989). Intercultural Awareness and Sensitivity of Canadian Police Officers. Canadian Public Administration, 32(4), pp. 612-622). Studies such as this demonstrate that obtaining empirical evidence is not impossible and that similar studies could take place within the classroom. There is a need then to develop a study that would empirically examine the ways in which teachers interact with and make decisions about different groups in the classroom. Such a study should consider that teacher expectations may be enmeshed in their attitudes and sensitivity to intercultural issues. In general, teacher expectation literature focuses on teachers' estimations regarding students' academic achievement based on the knowledge teachers have about that student in the immediate present (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Brophy and Good, 1974; Jussim, Lee and Eccles, 1992; Janes, 1996). In contrast, attribution theory offers explanations as to "'why' an event occurred when there is an unexpected outcome" (Weiner, 1984 as cited by Janes, 1996). Any empirical study that considers the basis of teachers' educational decision-making has to examine how attribution theory and teacher expectation relate to each other. The framework that is developed from a consideration of both might establish a method that would enable a determination of how students are assigned to educational opportunities and whether or not such decisions are discriminatory. In the next sections I outline what the literature suggests about expectation and attribution theories in order to develop a theoretical framework for my study. 10 LITERATURE ON TEACHER EXPECTATIONS EXPECTATIONS: There is a fable that tells of a traveler who crossed a bridge in order to get to another town. Upon crossing the bridge she meets an old man and asks him "What are the people like in this town I'm about to enter?" Instead of answering, the old man replies with his own question, "What were the people like in the town you just came from?" The young traveler smiled and said that she found the people warm and friendly, a most generous lot. The old man answered, "Then you shall find the same in the next town." Later that day another young traveler makes her way across the bridge. She too comes across the man and asks, "What are the people like in the next town?" Once again the old man retorts, "What were the people like in the town you just came from?" The young woman scowls and replies, "Oh, they were a horrible lot, miserable and miserly. I didn't like them at all." And the old man retorts, "And so you shall find the same in the next town." This fable speaks of how often one's experiences of a person or place are shaped by their expectations and attitudes. It is not unusual to have expectations about something nor are these necessarily irrational. Often expectations are built upon previous experiences and may be appropriately readjusted when confronted with contrary evidence. The accuracy of perceptions based upon expectations varies from person to person. Some people hold strongly to their initial ideas despite evidence that may suggest their expectations are unfounded. Often these misconceived perceptions reflect more upon the perceiver's own dispositions. One example of this might be parents who believe their child can do no wrong despite evidence to the contrary. Misconceived perceptions may also occur either when there is no contradictory evidence to change expectations or because the perceiver failed to recognize the existence of such evidence. An example of this could be in the case of a teacher who holds low 11 expectations of a quiet child whose shyness inhibits them from regularly asserting themselves. On some occasions a perceiver may explain away certain evidence contrary to their initial expectations because the act of changing their expectations may cause them to experience "symptoms of psychological disorder such as anxiety or depression" (Brophy and Good, 1974, p.34). Such is the case of a teacher who regularly takes credit for their student's successes but rationalizes a student's failure by claiming that student was unable to learn (Brophy and Good, 1974, p.34). In this case, the teacher, unable to face their own implication in the student's failure, resorts to casting blame upon the student as a way to relinquish any personal responsibility or guilt about the student's lack of success. Expectations that remain flexible by both taking into account previously unnoticed information and eliminating any inaccuracies that exist are neither good nor bad in themselves. In fact, accurate expectations adjusted according to particular circumstances may benefit the perceiver. For example, i f the first traveler from the aforesaid story goes into the next town and immediately has her purse stolen, she may modify her initially high expectations to become more realistic. Now although she may still generally assume the people encountered will be generous and kind, she is prepared to take necessary precautions while traveling. Her expectations remain positive though her experience has allowed her to modify her expectations to benefit her travel needs. Expectations only become harmful when a person is unwilling to adjust them despite evidence to the contrary. An example of this is the case of the second traveler who treks in to town and is greeted warmly by several families who invite her to their homes, supply her with food and shelter without expecting payment. Instead of modifying her expectations, she leaves still believing that the people of the town are mean and miserly albeit with a few exceptions. Her future traveling experiences may be hindered by negative expectations that affect her ability 12 to have an enjoyable time. Her irrationally negative expectations are also harmful in that she may pass her own erroneous beliefs to others. T E A C H E R E X P E C T A T I O N S : Teacher expectations describe the inferences teachers make regarding their students future achievements and are based upon the knowledge they have about that student now (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Brophy and Good, 1974; Jussim, Lee and Eccles, 1992; Janes, 1996). Teacher expectations may be based on information that is available about a particular student such as academic performance, previous grades, comments made by former teachers, IQ test scores, and family background information or by qualities irrelevant to the student's performance such as ascribed characteristics like race, ethnicity, gender and physical appearance. This information may allow the teacher to form expectations even before the student has had an opportunity to perform. Once in the classroom, a teacher's expectations are further shaped by the students' abilities such as following instructions, work habits, motivation, and behavioral compliance (Brophy and Good, 1974). Teacher expectancy effects describe the situation in which the teacher's expectations lead to actions which shape or affect the results of the students' performance. There are three notions as to why student performance may confirm teacher's expectations (Brophy and Good, 1974; Jussim, 1989; Jussim and Eccles, 1992; Kolb and Jussim 1994). The first reason, self-fulfilling prophecy, occurs when teacher's initially false expectations regarding their students lead teachers to behave in ways that result in the fulfillment of the expectations. Perceptual bias, including sustaining expectancy effect and the halo effect, occur "when teachers base evaluations of students on their (the teachers') expectations rather 13 than on student performance" (Kolb and Jussim, 1994). Finally, the third reason, accuracy, describes the situation in which teachers are able to successfully predict the student's achievement without actually influencing the student achievement (Kolb and Jussim, 1994; Jussim, 1989). In self-fulfilling prophecy and perceptual bias, teacher's beliefs have an impact on student achievement whereas accuracy refers to the idea that teachers are able to successfully predict student achievement without actually influencing it (Kolb & Jussim, 1994). S E L F - F U L L F I L L I N G P R O P H E C Y AND R O S E N T H A L Self-fulfilling prophecy in teacher expectations occurs when a teacher's expectations of a student are inaccurate and do not reflect the actual abilities of that student, however, the teacher's behavior influences the student's academic achievement in such a way that becomes consistent with the teacher's initial erroneous beliefs (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Brophy and Good, 1974; Jussim, 1986; Jussim, 1989). An example of a self-fulfilling prophecy in effect might be when a teacher holds an inappropriately low expectation of a student and is satisfied with academic achievements that do not realize the student's potential. The teacher may call on this student less often and give fewer opportunities to participate in class. The teacher may also tend to notice the student's failures more often than his/her success thus reaffirming the teacher's initial misconceptions (Brophy and Good, 1974, p. 34). The low expectancy student receiving no encouragement or challenge to reach their full potential may become bored and withdraw from classroom activities or give up entirely. This is called a self-fulfilling prophecy because the student's underachievement may not have resulted had the teacher's inappropriately low expectations not existed in the first place. 14 Perhaps the best known study of the relationship between teacher expectation and student achievement is "Pygmalion in the Classroom" by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson (1968, 1992). Rosenthal and Jacobson's study focused on the effects of teacher expectation on student achievement. In the study all of the children were administered "a non-verbal test of intelligence, which was disguised as a test that would predict intellectual 'blooming' (Rosenthal, 2002). At the end of the test, "approximately 20% of the children were chosen at random to form the experimental group. Each teacher was given the names of these children from his or her class who were in the experimental condition" (Rosenthal, 2002, p.842). The teachers were then told that during the course of the eight month school year, these particular children were expected to "bloom" or grow in their academic performance. In actuality, the only difference between the experimental children and the control group children lay in the mind of the teacher. At the end of the school year all of the children were retested with the same test of intelligence that had been given to them eight months prior. The findings of the study showed that "the children from whom the teachers had been led to expect greater intellectual gains showed greater intellectual gains than did the children of the control group" (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1992; Rosenthal, 2002) thus providing evidence for the notion that teacher expectations could produce self-fulfilling prophecies. R E A C T I O N S T O R O S E N T H A L Although the Rosenthal study emphasized the impact of teacher expectations upon students, later studies found no expectation advantage for the experimental group (Claiborne, 1969). Brophy and Good (1974) did not dismiss the findings of the Pygmalion study altogether and suggested several factors that may have reduced the impact of teacher expectations in later 15 studies. These factors included: treatment initiated later in the school year, post-tests administered earlier in the school year, some or all of the teachers involved failing to acquire the desired expectations and awareness of some or all of the teachers of the nature of the experiment. However, they did criticize the methods used in the Rosenthal and Jacobson study. Brophy and Good (1974) felt that the induction of expectations in teachers was problematic stating that the "induction of negative expectations regarding students raises serious ethical problems and even studies involving induction of positive expectations appear to have reached the point of diminishing returns" (Brophy and Good, 1974, p.76). They also believed that experimentally induced expectations failed to accurately portray what may occur under more natural conditions in the classroom since the study was experimental in nature and involved the induction of false expectations. They believed that providing the teacher with false information about their students rather than conducting a similar study in a more naturalistic school setting would not be as effective for examining the frequency and impact of teacher expectation in schools every day. They proposed more studies where teachers would be given genuine information about their prospective students rather than fictitious information that would present their students differently from how they actually were. Later studies executed in more naturalistic school settings (Brophy and Good, 1974; Clifton, 1986; Jussim, 1989) have demonstrated that there is some degree of relationship between teacher expectations and student achievement. However, whereas Rosenthal felt that it was the expectations themselves which influenced the student's achievement, these later researchers believed it was the way in which those expectations caused the teacher to interact with the students which had the ultimate affect on a student's achievement level (Janes, 1996). In 1984, a meta-analysis of Pygmalion effects on IQ scores was undertaken by Raudenbush (Ableson, 1995). The findings of his meta-analysis indicated that the amount of contact a teacher 16 has with a student will have an effect on the student's outcome. If a teacher has had less contact with a student, the information the teacher receives about the student will have more influence on how the teacher behaves toward them. However, if the teacher already knows the student quite well, their previous interaction together will have more influence on the teachers' perceptions about the student than any additional information regarding that student's potential (Ableson, 1995). Because of this researchers have become increasingly interested in establishing the accuracy of teacher expectations. E X P E C T A T I O N S AND A C C U R A C Y Teacher expectations are described as accurate "when they are based on valid predictors, such as students' prior achievement and motivation" (Kolb& Jussim, 1994, p.4). In order to determine i f a teacher's expectation is accurate, one must first determine the basis of the teacher's beliefs. For example, a "valid predictor" would be a student's previous grades rather than their physical attributes. One must also measure to what extent the teacher is able to predict the student's success without causing it (as in self-fulfilling prophecy) or influencing the evaluation of it (as in perceptual biases) (Kolb and Jussim, 1994). Studies by Jussim (1989), Jussim & Eccles(1992) and Kolb & Jussim (1994) found that "70 percent of the correlation between teacher expectations and student achievement represents accuracy, and the remaining 30 percent represents self-fulfilling prophecies, perceptual biases or both" (Kolb & Jussim, 1994, p.4). Although these studies support a high level of teacher expectation accuracy, they also provide proof that self-fulfilling prophecies can and do occur in natural environments. Although the effects of teacher expectation were quite small in these 17 studies, they were enough to lead some researchers to speculate whether the effects of self- fulfilling prophecy would accumulate over time (Jussim, 1989; Jussim and Eccles, 1992). E X P E C T A T I O N S AND A C C U M U L A T I O N Accumulation describes the process in which "a self-fulfilling prophecy triggered at one time exerts an increasingly larger influence over targets as time passes" (Smith et al. 1999, p.548). A classroom example of this might be a student who is for some reason disliked by one of their teachers. The teacher later goes into the staffroom and describes this particular student as a trouble maker to all of the other teachers. The next school year, the student moves up a grade and the student's new teacher remembers what has been said about the student and treats the student in accordance with the first teachers' negative expectations. Alternatively, the student, having been unfairly treated by the first teacher as a troublemaker, now behaves as one due to the first teacher's erroneous beliefs. The new teacher, unaware that the student didn't always behave in such a way, may continue to treat the student in the same way as the former teacher did and thus the power of the expectation increases over time. Self-fulfilling prophecies in the classroom may also dissipate i f the student interacts with many teachers whose different expectations for that student cancel each other. Teacher expectations may also have more influence upon students when they are young (Rosenthal and Jacobson, 1968; Brophy and Good, 1974) or when they are new to a particular situation (Smith et al., 1999) because they are more attentive to their teacher's expectations. A student may become less susceptible to teachers' expectations as they become more familiar with a situation. Finally, self-fulfilling prophecies that have been initiated by a teacher's expectations at one point may neither accumulate nor dissipate but rather may simply be sustained over time. Such might 18 be the case i f a teacher has unusually high expectations for a student and makes the decision to place the student in an advanced ability group one year and that student remains in that particular stream for the remainder of their school career. Many researchers have speculated on the impact of self-fulfilling prophecies in perpetuating existing social inequalities (Rist, 1970; Taylor and Reeves, 1993; Jussim and Eccles, 1992). The belief that prophecies could accumulate was disturbing, particularly i f perceivers tended to expect more (or less) from some groups than others. If self-fulfilling prophecies could accumulate overtime, they might lead to large differences between various groups. A comprehensive study by Smith et al.(1999) which included data spanning seven years obtained from twelve public school districts in southeastern Michigan of math students from sixth to twelfth grade and ninety-eight teachers, dispelled the idea that self-fulfilling prophecy could accumulate over time. However, this study did find that "the self-fulfilling prophecy effects that occur in one year may, on average, lead to small differences between targets of high and low expectations that endure for a very long period". This could be detrimental for students for whom a teacher has lowered expectations of them, particularly if that teacher is making decisions regarding the student's placement in future classes. For example, i f a teacher's misconceptions of a student's ability in math lead that student to do poorly in that subject, that teacher may place the student in a lower track or ability group. This could be problematic since research has shown that once a student has been placed into a high or low level classroom, they tend to stay in their placements for the duration of their education (Brophy and Good, 1974; Jussim, 1986; Oaks, 1995). Thus it is important to consider the points at which long ranging educational decisions are made and the impact of those decisions on particular groups. 19 SUSTAINING EXPECTATION EFFECT, HALO EFFECT & PERCEPTUAL BIASES Students who are knowledgeable about schools and willing to play the school game may be better able to cope with the vagaries of teacher expectation. The one piece of advice seniors always gave to new students at my high school was to ace your first exam. The rumor was that i f you nailed that first assignment, teachers would place you on a pedestal and you could spend the remainder of your high school years riding on the coattails of first term paper success. However, the pitiful souls who failed their first term assignments would be sentenced with the task of desperately trying to regain credibility with unforgiving teachers for the duration of their high school lives. As teenagers we were prone to hyperbole. However, some of our conceptions regarding teacher expectation were not entirely misplaced. While self-fulfilling prophecy occurs when students' actual achievement is influenced by teacher expectations, perceptual biases occur when teacher expectations have influenced their evaluation of student achievement (Kolb and Jussim, 1994; Jussim, 1989; Janes, 1996). For example, i f a teacher believes a student to be a low achiever, the teacher may give less favorable evaluations than warranted. Furthermore "sustaining expectation effect" (Saracho, 1991; Anderson, 1991; Janes, 1996) dictates that, as a teacher comes to expect a certain standard of work from a particular student, the teacher begins to respond to the expectations they have of the student rather than to the student him or herself. The teacher is no longer able to identify changes within the student's work because that teacher is blinded by her own expectations. Finally, the "halo effect" (Tauber, 1997, p. 15) describes the situation in which a teacher may believe a student to be successful in one area and mistakenly assumes this success will carry over into other unrelated areas. While an outside observer may recognize that this is not the case, the teacher who has granted the student a halo is blind to inadequacies often at the expense of low expectation students who are overshadowed by the brightness of these artificial "halos". 20 Gottfredson et al. (1995) add that "researchers have found that teachers overestimate the achievement of high achievers, underestimate that of low achievers, and predict least accurately the responses of low achievers"(Gottfredson et al., 1995, p. 155). Sustaining expectation effect, perceptual biases and the halo effect can engender a self-fulfilling prophecy. Teacher's normative expectations can also lead to biased evaluations (Kolb & Jussim, 1994). Williams (1976) demonstrated in his study how normative dimensions of teacher expectation could have an even greater influence on student evaluations than their cognitive expectations. "Cognitive expectations" describes the expectations teachers develop for a student's performance and "normative expectations" describe the activities and expectations for student's classroom behaviour (Williams, 1976, p.225). The results of the Williams's study indicated that teacher's normative expectations had a positive impact on a student's academic achievement. Teachers perceived better-behaved students, those who obeyed the social norms of the classroom, as brighter and harder working. The study showed only a slight effect of teacher expectation on students' cognitive learning as measured by standardized tests, however, it did show significant impact on teaching evaluations. Studies by Jussim (1989) and Jussim and Eccles (1992) concur with Williams's study in that they all provide evidence that perceptual biases do occur within the classroom (Kolb and Jussim, 1994, p.477). In their studies involving sixth grade math students, teachers erroneously assumed that a student's final performance was a good indication of their effort. In actual fact, the more time low performing students claimed to spend on homework, the less effort the teacher believed they exerted (Jussim, 1989). Jussim (1989) concludes that "people often assume that effort strongly influences performance" despite the fact "the available evidence suggests that effort influences performance to a much lesser extent than many people, including teachers, currently believe". What is problematic about this is that the teacher's misconceived bias 21 regarding students' perceived effort also influenced the grades they assigned. Since society tends to place a strong value on a good work ethic, teachers who perceive students as trying harder may be more likely to reward them by giving higher evaluations than their academic success warrants. Likewise, i f a teacher perceives a student as lazy, they may be more likely to mark that student lower than their actual performance deserves. In a follow up study, Jussim and Eccles (1992) set out to find if "teacher expectations predict student achievement by creating self-fulfilling prophecies and perceptual biases rather than by being accurate" (Jussim, 1989). Results demonstrated once again that teachers assume students who are performing better are trying harder. In addition, this study indicated teachers had some gender bias towards their students since they consistently rated boys as being more talented in math than girls despite a lack of evidence to support this belief. Teachers were also more likely to evaluate girls higher than boys when they did well in math because they believed that the girls tried harder in their studies than boys. Once again there was no objective evidence to validate this idea, demonstrating that teachers, like people in general, are not immune to gender stereotypes (Jussim, 1992). Another study by Kolb & Jussim (1994) indicated that although students labelled as "gifted" often benefited from perceptual bias there are some circumstances where they do not. One indication of perceptual biases having a negative effect on gifted students is i f their standardized test scores are much higher than the teacher's evaluations for that student. Why might a teacher have negative perceptions of a child who is presumed to be able to do well academically? Jussim states there could be several reasons for a teacher's negative bias. For example, i f a gifted child is not challenged in the classroom, that child may grow bored. One way a student may try to alleviate that boredom is to not conform to the normative behaviour of the classroom by either acting up in class or by withdrawing completely. Since "mildly 22 disconfirming evidence often leads people to modify their expectations" (Kolb and Jussim, 1994, p.4), the teacher may lower their originally high expectations for the student causing the teacher to be satisfied with results that don't realize student's actual potential. The teacher may also give up on the student, calling on them less often and providing fewer opportunities to participate as they may lavish their attention on those students they feel will benefit more from their energies. Although some students may be able to change the teacher's misperceptions, others may not. A n intelligent student who has the confidence to challenge the misperceptions of a teacher may be able to convince the teacher of his/her inherent abilities. However, even the most confident child may have difficulty challenging a teacher's erroneous perceptions if the teacher has particularly fixed expectations about a student. The influence of teacher's expectations upon student achievement may have more to do with the level of flexibility with which teachers hold their expectations (Brophy and Good, 1974; Clifton et al., 1986; Jussim, 1986). If a teacher's expectations are rigid, that is they refuse to readjust their expectation level despite evidence of the contrary, their expectations are more likely to act as a self-fulfilling prophecy (Brophy and Good, 1974, p.35). This may be the case i f the teacher believes "the basis for their expectations is some stable factor" (Kolb & Jussim, 1994). Kolb and Jussim cite an example given by Rubovitz & Maehr (1973) who found that "some teachers discriminate against Black children, even after being told that the children are gifted" (Rubovitz & Maehr, 1973 as cited by Kolb and Jussim, 1994, p.5) suggesting that attributional signatures do have an affect on teachers' perceptions. These studies give an indication of the significant impact teacher's perceptions of their student's can have upon teacher evaluations. Although teachers' beliefs about students' behaviour in the classroom or the amount of effort they put into their homework may not have a large impact over student's standardized test scores (their actual academic achievement) they do 23 have an impact on the way a student is graded. Since student placement is often determined by grades, these findings could mean that life-changing decisions could be based partly on teachers' misconceived perceptions or intentional racism. EXPECTATIONS, RACE AND ETHNICITY AND UNDERCHIEVEMENT In summary, the expectation literature discussed has demonstrated that small self- fulfilling prophecies exist in naturalized settings (Jussim, 1989; Jussim and Eccles, 1992) however, they do not generally accumulate over time (Smith et al., 1999). Teacher's normative expectations have an impact on student's certified learning (Williams, 1976) and these normative expectations can be influenced by perceptual biases (Jussim, 1989; Jussim and Eccles, 1992). In addition, the more rigid these teacher's expectations are, the less they are subject to change (Brophy and Good, 1974; Clifton et al., 1986; Jussim, 1986; Kolb and Jussim, 1994). What might these studies mean if it was found that race and ethnicity influence teacher's perceptions as many critical theorists suggest? Many of the aforementioned studies have interesting implications for students of racial and ethnic minorities i f it is found that teacher's perceptions of students in the classroom are based on arbitrary factors. For example, the studies by Jussim (1989) and Jussim and Eccles (1992) produced only modest self-fulfilling prophecies in comparison to accuracy. However, the first study "was largely composed of middle-and upper-middle-class households, and more than 90% of the sixth graders sampled were White" (Jussim, 1989, p. 471). Although the second study was more diverse in that it was larger and the socioeconomic status of the district ranged from working class to upper middle class (Jussim, 1992, p. 948), only ten percent of the students were from a minority background. Jussim also states that of the 2, 625 students included in the study, 531 24 students were excluded from the study as analyses required that students attend the school districts for three consecutive years. Students who did not attend any of these schools during at least one of those three years were taken out of the analyses. Research shows that students from minority and lower socio-economic backgrounds are more likely to drop out of school or leave school for long periods of time (Byrk & Thum, 1989; Caldas, 1993; Velez, 1989). If minority and low income students are most likely to be transient, then the study excluded students most likely to be stigmatized. Since Jussim does not indicate who these omitted students were it is difficult to determine how diverse the student body actually was. Knowing that research has indicated that self-fulfilling prophecies have greater effects upon students from particular ethnic groups (Rosenthal, 1968; Brophy and Good, 1974; Clifton, 1986; Wigfield et al. 1999; Chang & Sue, 2003; Murdock, 1999; Casteel, 2001), it may be that self-fulfilling prophecies would have had a stronger presence in these studies if the student body been more diverse. In addition, studies such as Williams (1976), Jussim (1989) and Jussim and Eccles (1992) have demonstrated that teacher's perceptions have a greater impact on teacher evaluations than standardized test scores. The prospect that self-fulfilling prophecies could accumulate over time has been a concern because of their potential to exacerbate existing social problems. The impact they may have upon certain racial and ethnic groups was of particular concern if it was found that teachers had higher expectations for some groups over others. Smith et al. (1999) concluded in their study that self-fulfilling prophecy does not accumulate over time in schools. However, once again, the diversity of students studied was not noted, making it difficult to conclude whether these results apply to all students or just some students who may be less susceptible to self-fulfilling prophecies over time. That this study again was conducted in mathematics classrooms may have 25 affected Smith's findings since math, being comparatively more objective than other subjects, may be less susceptible to teacher's biased perceptions. Regardless, the Smith et al. study (1999) did indicate that even though "self-fulfilling prophecies in terms of effect size may be relatively small.. .their presence over time is quite remarkable" (Smith et al. 1999, p.563). The researchers found that a teacher's belief could influence a student up to six years after the original point of contact and stated that these findings indicated that "expectancy effects could provide a modest contribution to social problems"(Smith et al. 1999, p.564). However, I would argue that a decision based on a teacher's erroneous belief that can still have an impact on a student six years after contact is significant. In addition, Smith at al. found in their study that students "who were targets of higher expectations in 7 t h grade took a greater number of non-remedial high school math courses than students who were targets of lower expectations"(Smith et al. 1999, p. 559). What might these findings mean for minority or Aboriginal students? If teachers have lower expectations for Aboriginal and Minority students it could mean a great deal. Tracking, also called "ability grouping" or "streaming," describes the process of placing students in separate ability groups for bright, average and low learners. Some people view ability grouping as "functional, scientific, and democratic-an educationally sound way to accomplish two important tasks: first, providing students with the education that best suits their abilities, and second, providing the nation with the array of workers it needs" (Oakes, 1995, p.682). Others argue that tracking and "the assessment practices that support it and the differences in educational opportunity that result from it limit many students' schooling opportunities and life chances. These limits affect school children from all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups" (Oakes, 1995, p. 682). Research has shown that tracking tends to have the most negative effects 26 on minority students and those from a lower socio-economic background (Oakes, 1995; Broussard and Joseph, 1998). Research also indicates that students in remedial classes show fewer gains over time than similarly situated students placed in higher track classes (Sirotnik, 1994; Oakes, 1995; Broussard and Joseph, 1998). In addition, remedial classes often lack many of the resources provided to higher track classes, have less qualified teachers, teachers expect less from them and they tend to be given less exposure to the course curriculum. Research has also indicated that there is very little movement between tracks. This means that i f a student is wrongly placed into a lower tracked class that student will have a difficult time advancing to a higher class. This could have a lasting effect since many of the courses that qualify students for both university entrance and a wider variety of careers require advanced level subjects. Smith et al. state that self-fulfilling prophecies could have modest impacts over time; however, i f found that teachers are repeatedly making wrong decisions based on a prior teachers assessment influenced by a student's race or ethnicity then the impact would be major. Decisions such as these often determine a students' chance of attending university or establishing a career (or even completing high school). Erroneous decisions, therefore, could be a contributing factor to the widening achievement gap between White and Aboriginal/minority school students. L I T E R A T U R E O N A T T R I B U T I O N AND S T E R E O T Y P E S A T T R I B U T I O N , R A C E AND E T H N I C T Y AND U N D E R C H I E V E M E N T In order to determine whether teachers assign educational opportunities to students based on ascribed characteristics such as race or ethnicity rather than achievement, we need to first know whether or not teacher's perceptions can have an effect on teachers' expectations. Studies 27 such as the ones by Williams (1976), Jussim (1989), Jussim and Eccles (1992) have demonstrated that teacher's normative expectations influence teacher evaluations of their students. However, these studies do not mention the impact this has upon minority students. Since normative behavior is based on moral values and behavior, a teacher may be more likely to have lower normative expectations for a student if the student's belief system is different from the teacher's. Taylor (1995) describes this phenomenon in his essay "Non-Native Teachers Teaching in Native Communities" where he cites Edward T. Hall's concept of high and low- context cultures: A high context (HC) communication or message is one in which most of the information is either in the physical context or internalized in the person, while very little is in the coded, explicit, transmitted part of the message. A low context (LC) communication is just the opposite; i.e., the mass of the information is vested in the explicit code (Hall as cited by Taylor, 1995, p.233). Taylor goes on to note that traditional Native Canadian culture tends to be a high-context one in that it relies less on the spoken word and more on context whereas Euro-Canadian culture is more strongly dependent on verbal conversation and is therefore more of a low-context culture (Taylor,1995, p.233). It should be noted that Taylor's own assumptions about Aboriginal culture is a gross generalization as he negates mentioning the fact that a large part of Aboriginal culture is oral tradition which relies very much on the spoken word. However, Taylor's comments are worth noting in that it highlights the way in which a teacher's own stereotypes about a particular group may influence the way the teacher interprets that group's behavior. If teachers' normative expectations influence teachers' evaluations of students as Williams and others have suggested, differences such as these could play a role in the way a teacher perceives and later evaluates students. Interestingly, Williams (1976) argues that his study does not support a revisionist argument that states that a student's origins are an important source of teacher expectation. He claims that in his study "teachers do appear to base their 28 expectations on the achievement of students, not on the students' ascribed characteristics" (Williams, 1976, p.223). However, he does not note the diversity of the students measured and has omitted parental income from his model which he himself states "might provide support for revisionist arguments should it be shown to affect teacher expectations direcfly"(Williams, 1976, p.234). In addition, studies such the one by Jussim & Eccles (1992) have indicated that teachers have shown some gender bias with regard to the evaluations of their students. Finally, studies such as Brophy and Good (1974) and Jussim (1986) have indicated that often a teacher's impact upon student achievement has more to do with how flexible or rigid a teacher expectations actually are. The aforementioned study by Robovitz & Maehr (1973) found that despite teachers being told that some black children were gifted, they still continued to discriminate against these students. Findings like these are an example of how there may be certain circumstances where teachers hold more rigid expectations for some children than they do for others and that this may be due in part to a teacher's stereotypical perceptions. Since Rosenthal (1968 study) some others have suggested that students from certain ethnic groups may be more susceptible to self-fulfilling prophecies and teacher's stereotypical perceptual biases. Even in the "Pygmalion study" Rosenthal noted that "blooming" Mexican children did not share the same advantages with regards to teacher perceived intellectual curiosity as other children who had also been expected to bloom. Teachers still rated the Mexican children as being less curious intellectually, despite the fact that these Mexican children showed the greatest expectancy advantages in IQ. Perplexed by the results, Rosenthal concluded that it seemed as though for minority students "intellectual competence may have been easier for teachers to bring about than believe" (Rosenthal, 1992, p. 178). The question to be asked then is: Were these Mexican students actually less intellectually curious than other students or did the teachers' lower evaluations of the Mexican students arise from a more personal bias? 29 Studies have shown that teachers may evaluate students based on ascribed characteristics such as race, ethnicity and gender (Rist, 1970; Dusek and Joseph, 1983; Clifton, 1986; Kolb and Jussim, 1994; Reyna, 2000). Reyna (2000) argues that minority students are "given less attention and are ignored more than their Caucasian counterparts regardless of the former's academic performance or gifted status" (Reyna, 2000, p.86). Rist (1970) wanted to demonstrate how schools perpetuate existing social structures in part "because teachers assume that children with certain ascribed characteristics learn faster than children with other ascribed characteristics" (Rist as cited by Clifton, 1986, p.60). Rist's own study in a kindergarten classroom with children he observed for one year demonstrated that although there were no apparent differences in the children's intelligence, children were placed in higher and lower ability tables based on their socioeconomic status. Craig Janes (1996) states that knowing "a teacher's perceptions about the causes of student's behaviour is extremely important" (Janes, 1996, p.4) because a teacher's perceptions "on why a student succeeded or failed may influence teachers' expectations for future achievement on the part of the student" (Fennema, 1990 as cited by Janes, 2003). In the next section I will discuss how attribution theory when combined with teacher expectations can begin to develop stereotypes that may influence teacher decision-making. STEREOTYPES AND TEACHERS' EXPECTATIONS This year I attended a workshop in a classroom in which the students were divided into groups to discuss various stereotypes. After about ten minutes of brainstorming the workshop coordinator circulated to each group to ask what stereotypes they had discussed. One group exclaimed, " A l l Chinese people eat rice is a stereotype!" Another group piped up, " A l l Brown 30 people wear turbans is another stereotype!" At this point a small "Brown" boy in the corner muttered under his breath, "or are terrorists". This was followed by an annoyed, "Shush!" from another "Brown" boy near by who perhaps felt the comment was too controversial for the classroom, or more likely, felt that that particular comment touched a nerve. Another group exclaimed, " A l l Asian people are good at math." A young woman interrupted, "But that's not a stereotype, that's true!" Finally, the last group called out, " A l l blondes are dumb!" The teacher, who just happened to be White with blond hair, looked up at the Indo-Canadian girl who made the comment, rolled her eyes and retorted, "I can't believe you just said that. Well, anyway. We all know Jake and I are the smartest in the class." She pointed to Jake who actually had light brown rather than blond hair but did just happen to be the only White boy in class. In less then ten minutes a classroom was rife with baggage waiting to be unpacked. Reyna (2000) states "Stereotypes represent a host of prepacked expectations that have very real consequences for the beliefs and behaviours of both the user of stereotypes and for those being stereotyped" (Reyna, 2003, p. 86). Stereotypes can act as blanket statements that generalize what a particular group is or does without taking into account the individual differences within that group. Such is the case for the statement " A l l Chinese people eat rice." A stereotype may also make assumptions about people based on race or ethnicity such as " A l l Brown people wear turbans." Stereotypes can be hurtful or harmful when innocent groups of people are made to carry the burden of one individual's actions just because they happen to share the same colour or belief system as in the statement " A l l Brown people are terrorists." Some stereotypes are believed to be "better" than others because they emphasize the positive rather than the negative, such as " A l l Asians are good at math". What people often fail to recognize is that such assumptions can also be unhelpful i f a person feels there is something wrong with themselves because they do not fit the designated label. They may feel they have let 31 down their race, religion, gender or class. Stereotypes can also be used to rationalize individual acts by stereotyped group members through offering explanations as to why someone did particularly well (or not so well) at something: "Of course, she did well at math. She is Asian." Or "Why else would he lock himself out? He's blonde." When stereotypes occur in the classroom their presence may be subtle but their affects can be deadly, especially when the targets are young students. The messages communicated through stereotypes to students by teachers can have an influence not only on the way a student is treated but may also affect the academic evaluations, and eventually, the way that student views herself. Several studies in expectation literature have suggested that teachers' stereotypes regarding gender (Jussim, 1989; Tapasak, 1990), particular ethnic groups (Clifton, 1986; Wigfield et al., 1999; Chang & Sue, 2003; Murdock, 1999; Casteel, 2001) and socioeconomic status (Feiler, 1999; Murdock, 1999; Hauser-Cram et al., 2003) may lead towards lowered expectations that might trigger self-fulfilling prophecies or perceptual biases. Clifton's (1986) study demonstrated that after intellectual ability, "ethnicity has the second most powerful effect on both normative and cognitive expectations" (Clifton, 1986, p.64) and that these "differences in teachers' expectations may facilitate different learning, since differential expectations probably affect the feedback and evaluation that teachers give to their students" (Clifton, 1986, p.66). Hauser-Cram et al. (2003) found that teachers rated children of a lower socio-economic background less competent because the teachers perceived value differences with the students' parents. Finally, a study by Murdock(1999) asking students how they regarded teachers' treatment of them noted that "low-income African Americans and Caucasian students reported teachers as having lower expectations of them than their higher income Caucasian peers. Low-income, African-American students also saw teachers as more disinterested and critical than did Caucasian adolescents from higher income families" 32 (Murdock, 1999, p.67). These studies demonstrate that once a teacher has labeled a student in accordance with a particular stereotype, the teacher may respond to preconceived ideas associated with that stereotype rather than to the student. Knowing to what a teacher attributes the causes of students' success or failure in the classroom is important in the understanding of the way the teacher's perceptions and expectations operate. ATTRIBUTION THEORY AND TEACHERS' EXPECTATIONS Attribution theory, developed by Weiner (1984; 1985; 1994), is used "to explain 'why' an event occurred when there is an unexpected outcome" (Weiner, 1984 as cited in Janes, 1996). For Weiner "the process of finding out why an event occurred begins with a search of the perceived causes of the unexpected success or failure" (Weiner as cited by Wallace, 1996). In attribution theory causes are seen as external/internal, stable/unstable and controllable/uncontrollable to the perceiver who makes the attributions (Weiner, 1984). For example, a grade seven student suddenly begins to act up in her new teacher's classroom. She glues the teacher's chalk brushes together, puts pins on the seat of his chair, disrupts classes by yelling and even attempts to pull the teacher's hair when he tells her to sit down. Because this student is not normally known for such disruption, the teacher tries to "interpret" the student's behaviour by asking other teachers and students some questions. He first tries to determine whether the student's actions were triggered by something external or i f it was something more intrinsic to the student (locas of control). He then asks others whether the student had always been this way or i f the behaviour is an anomaly (causal stability). And finally the teacher questions whether others believe the student is capable of controlling her behaviour or not (controllability). (Weiner, 1985; Weiner, 1994; Janes, 1996). It's later discovered that the 33 student's behaviour was triggered by the sudden replacement of a teacher of whom she had been quite fond. The student eventually reverts to her "usual" self. Her behavior is then labeled as external (caused by an outside event), unstable (does not last for a long period of time) and controllable (the student when asked, could control her actions). These same measures are applied when a teacher determines the cause of a student's successes or failures in the classroom, however the usual causal attributions are ability and effort. Both are believed to be internal in causality, but ability is regarded as stable and uncontrollable as it is perceived as fixed, whereas effort is seen as unstable and controllable since it is seen as varying from task to task and under the control of the student (Weiner, 1984; Weiner, 1985; Wallace, 1996; Janes, 1996). Other factors that may be seen to affect a student's achievement or lack thereof is luck, a teacher, interest or task difficulty (Wallace, 1996, p.l). A teacher who attributes a student's success in the classroom to ability (internal/stable) may increase his/her expectancy for that student's success and therefore be more likely to encourage persistence in achieving goals. Students who attribute their success to stable factors such as ability may feel proud and confident in their ability to succeed and will therefore be more likely to actively participate within the classroom. Alternatively, a teacher who attributes a student's failure to ability may develop lower expectations for that student's chance of success and may even appear to "give up" on the student since his/her failure has been determined as fixed (Tollefson, 1988; Juvonen, 1988). Likewise students who identify their failure as something intrinsic to themselves may be overwhelmed by feelings of shame, frustration and hopelessness and thus pull further away from the classroom (Tollefson and Chen, 1988; Juvonen, 1988). If the successes or failures are shifted to unstable and changeable causes, then the attitudes held by teachers and students also shift. For example, i f a student's failure is regarded 34 as being unstable and external, such as not being able to do well at an exam because of an illness, a teacher may continue to have high expectations for that student and the student's confidence in their own abilities to succeed at a later date should remain (Janes, 1996). If a student succeeds on an exam but that success is attributed to an unstable factor like effort or good fortune, a teacher may still have lowered expectations for that student since high effort implies low ability. The student may also suffer from lack of confidence regardless of his/her success if they believe his/her chance of success requires very hard work or luck. Weiner (1985) hypothesized that "inferred causal attributions mediate the affective and emotional reaction of individuals towards others" (Wallace, 1996, p.3). For example, i f a teacher perceives a student's failure as stemming from a lack of effort (internal and unstable), the teacher may become angry at the student for not trying hard enough. A study by Tollefson and Chan (1988) supported this theory by demonstrating that if teachers felt that a lack of understanding in their students was controllable the teachers were more likely to report that they would feel anger toward the student. They would also be less willing to help and less likely to praise supposed "low-effort" students (Tollefson and Chan, 1988; Reyna and Weiner, 1999). This is problematic as it can create a cycle where "a student believes s/he cannot do the work without teacher help, the teacher believes that the student could do the work if s/he tried and withholds help, the student develops an attitude of 'what's the use of trying if I am going to fail.' The teacher maintains his/her attribution and continues to be angry, critical and unhelpful, and reinforces the student's beliefs and subsequent behaviour" (Tollefson and Chan, 1988, p.264). Alternatively, a teacher may attribute the student's failure to ability and praise the student's efforts regardless of the quality because they believe the student is incapable of doing any better. The student, sensing the teacher's insincerity, may feel even more defeated and ashamed and continue to withdraw from the classroom (Graham, 1984; Tollefson and Chen, 1988; Reyna, 2000). 35 STEREOTYPES, ATTRIBUTION THEORY, AND TEACHERS' EXPECTATIONS In the preceding sections I have described how stereotypes have worked with teacher expectation and how attribution theory has worked with teacher expectations. In this next section I demonstrate how all three of them work together. In her paper "Lazy, Dumb or Industrious: When Stereotypes Convey Attribution Information in the Classroom" Christine Reyna offers a model which describes "the underlying attributional structures of all stereotypes" (Reyna, 2000, p.85). She states that "stereotypes always represent one of three patterns: Stereotypes can communicate causes that are (1) internal/stable/controllable by the stereotyped person (e.g., laziness), (2) internal/stable/uncontrollable by the stereotyped person (e.g., low intelligence), and (3) external/stable/uncontrollable by the stereotyped person (e.g., being the victim of discrimination)" (Reyna, 2000, p.91). Reyna states that these stereotypes can be damaging as they may elicit negative responses that are harmful to the target's sense of self worth. An example of this is stereotyping certain ethnic minorities as being "inherently lazy". Not only is this an undesirable trait but it is also something that is viewed as controllable by the stereotyped individual. Therefore "the stereotype implies that these people don't have to be lazy, but they choose to be. This is frowned upon as a violation of societal norms, and is often responded to with disdain, condemnation, and punishment" (Weiner et al., 1997 as cited by Reyna, 2000, p.96). In the classroom this can be particularly harmful since research has shown that teachers are more likely to show anger and punish the child if they feel the child was not trying hard enough than i f they feel the child failed for uncontrollable reasons like ability (Tollefson, 1988; Reyna and Weiner, 1998; Reyna, 2000). A group can also be identified as being in control of positive outcomes. For example, a student who is labeled as "trying hard" may receive more rewards and positive reinforcement for 36 their efforts (Williams, 1974; Reyna, 2000). An example of a positive stereotyping is that of labeling Asian minorities as being 'model minorities' because they are seen as hard workers who have managed to succeed in society despite discrimination (Kitano and Sue, 1973 as cited by Reyna, 2000, p. 97). Positive controlled stereotypes lead teachers to believe that some students are more competent and harder working than their peers and are thus more likely to reward them and give them positive reinforcement from their teachers. However, even something seemingly positive can backfire in certain circumstances. A study by Chang and Sue (2003) revealed that teacher's positive stereotypes of Asian American youths as being well-behaved and hardworking may actually prevent teachers from identifying and treating behavioral disorders such as over- controlled problems related to "anxiety, depressions and social withdrawal"(Chang and Sue, 2003, p.240). Since over-controlled behavior is not disruptive like under-controlled behavior and is more associated with positive traits such as hard work and doing well academically (traits commonly referred to as being "inherent" in Asian students), teachers are less likely to regard over-controlled students as a behavioral problem. Because of this, teachers may be less likely to refer over-controlled students for further assessment or treatment despite the fact that "psychologists see both under- and over-controlled problems as equally serious in children" (Chang and Sue, 2003, p.240). A n example of a trait of a stereotyped person who is labeled as internal/stable and uncontrollable may be low-intelligence. For instance, i f a young girl doesn't do well on her math test it may evoke a stereotype within the teacher that "girls are bad at math." This implies that the girl's bad math was not related to her lack of studying enough (internal) or of her having a bad day (external), rather it suggests that her poor math performance resulted from something inherent (uncontrollable) in herself. Reyna states that "in the classroom, these stable, characterological attributes that are outside of the student's volition are a double edge sword that 37 can ultimately do the most damage to a student's motivation and self- image than any other kind of stereotype" (Reyna, 2000, p.98). For example, the teacher who has labeled the young girl as being inherently bad at math may feel sorry for her and offer her some assistance. However, i f the teacher truly believes the student is incapable of doing any better it may mean that she is later denied any opportunities relevant to a future in mathematics. If the girl were led to believe her poor marks in math were due to not trying hard enough she may feel guilty for awhile but will eventually realize she has the ability to control her future achievement in math. But, if the girl is led to believe her poor marks reflect an innate inability to comprehend math she may feel incompetent and withdraw from math completely to avoid facing those feelings (Tollefson, 1988; Weiner, 1985; Reyna, 2000). Failure on academic tests may be invoked in stereotyped groups in certain situations "where their behavior can confirm the negative reputation that their group lacks a valued ability" (Aronson, 1998, p.30). This is commonly referred to as "stereotype threat". Research has shown that i f a group is made aware of their stigmatized status right before participating in a test in a subject where their group is deemed incapable, they will not do as well as they would have had it not been mentioned at all (Steele and Aronson, 1995; Salinas and Aronson, 1997;Spencer and Steele, 1995; Reyna, 2000). However, a study by Aronson et al. (1999) also discovered that even groups that are not stigmatized can be affected by stereotype threat " i f they were exposed to a stereotype that predicted underperformance for their group". Their study involved two separate research groups. Each group consisted of White males with high abilities in mathematics. Researchers confronted the White male subjects in the first group with the stereotype that Asian students outperform Caucasian students in math. No comparison was made with the other group. The results of the study were that the subjects presented with the stereotype performed less well. 38 Although this study demonstrated that one does not need to have a lifetime of stigmatization to still be effected by stereotype threat, it does not diminish other studies that have demonstrated the damaging effects stereotype threat can have on stigmatized groups. In fact, it does just the opposite by demonstrating that stereotype effect only needs a little trigger to have a detrimental effect on a group of people. This is significant because, whereas White males were used in this study only as a comparison and are usually considered the 'standard', certain groups may always feel the pressure of a particular stereotype. They therefore must consistently deal with reminders and triggers of that stereotype since they will have developed a heightened awareness of the stigma attached to their group. In addition, a targeted group may feel a certain sense of group loyalty which "may also make the direct target feel more responsible for representing their group and thus more keenly and chronically apprehensive about representing their group in situations where a group stereotype is relevant" (Aronson et al., 1998, p.41). In addition, a second study by Aronson et al. (1998) determined that how much a student was touched by stereotype effect regarding performance in a subject would be dependent upon how much one identified with that particular subject domain. For example, the White males who seemed to be most negatively effected in their math results by stereotype threat were those students who were most invested in the subject matter. The results of this particular study may help explain why some stereotyped groups choose to disengage from the school as a self- protective tactic rather than be continuously abused by the negative feelings triggered by stereotype threat. It is also interesting to note that even positive attributions made on uncontrolled, stable factors, such as the stereotype " A l l Asians are good at math," can backfire as they may not give the stereotyped individual the credit they deserve for doing well or trying hard. Furthermore, it can be even more upsetting for those in the targeted group who do not fulfill the positive 39 stereotype as they may believe they are in some way inadequate or unworthy in the eyes of others if they do not live up to such expectations. Finally, an example of external/stable/uncontrollable stereotypes might be those in which one attributes a subject's failure as resulting from something outside of the subject. People who hold these stereotypes may feel that women, ethnic minorities and people of a lower-socio economic status are not responsible for their failure, and instead place blame on external qualities outside of the target's control such as being underprivileged and thus being unable to attend better quality schools or being discriminated against and therefore unable to get promoted in a job. People who hold these beliefs will be more willing to assist targets through "support programs that offer assistance to ameliorate their unfortunate circumstances, such as affirmative action, social programs, or even individualized assistance" (Reyna, 2000, p. 102). Placing the blame on outside factors may also enable stigmatized groups to feel better about themselves since the failure is not intrinsic to a quality within them. However, often discrimination is subtle and may therefore be difficult for the stigmatized individual to identify and counter with accusations of discrimination (Reyna, 2000). Furthermore, groups who are not accustomed to being discriminated against may view support programs for stigmatized individuals as unjust. They may also refuse to give stigmatized individuals credit for their achievements by claiming the stereotyped target was given an unfair advantage because of their race, gender, ethnicity or disability. In addition, the stereotyped individual may also become discouraged and withdraw from making any effort i f they believe that racism and discrimination are inevitable and will continue to be around uncontested for a long time (Reyna, 2000). The studies reviewed in this section have demonstrated that teacher's expectations can be influenced by stereotypes regarding gender (Jussim, 1989; Tapasak, 1990), particular ethnic groups (Clifton, 1986; Wigfield et al., 1999; Chang & Sue, 2003; Murdock, 1999; Casteel, 40 2001), and socioeconomic status (Feiler, 1999; Murdock, 1999; Hauser-Cram et al., 2003). The stereotypes a teacher holds, either consciously or unconsciously, about a student may influence both the expectations they have for the potential success or failure of that student and the attributions they make for the student's resulting successes and failures. These attributions regarding a student's performance can then be directly or indirectly communicated through the teacher's behavior. Teachers are more likely to spend more time and effort on students regarded as having high ability (Brophy and Good, 1974; Reyna, 2000) whereas low ability students may be mistreated and ignored. However, a teacher may be more likely to demonstrate sympathy towards a student's failure if they perceive their failure as resulting from a lack of ability which is perceived as being uncontrollable rather than failure that was deemed to have been the result of a controllable trait such as laziness or lack of effort. The literature on attributions and stereotypes suggests how teachers' decisions may be influenced by irrelevant factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexual preference and disability, but there is not much literature that focuses directly upon the way ethnicity may influence teacher's decisions. Furthermore, of the studies that do discuss the impact ethnicity has upon teacher expectations many were conducted in the US and therefore do not necessarily reflect the situation in Canada. Canada is a diverse country and its ethnic population varies from region to region. Even Canadian studies such as that of Clifton et al. (1986) on how ascribed characteristics affect teacher's evaluations of students in Winnipeg, Manitoba do not necessarily reflect the population and attitudes of those living in Vancouver, British Columbia. Region- specific studies will provide more accurate data about teacher decisions in different areas of the country. Since research has indicated that a teacher decision can have an impact upon a student for up to six years later it is imperative to know whether teachers' decisions for their students are 41 based more upon achievement or ascribed characteristics. Jussim (1988) has stated that "once people perceive a relationship between two variables, they tend to make predictions as i f the variables were perfectly correlated" (Jussim, 1988, p. 432). While this doesn't mean that all teachers' predictions surrounding students are inaccurate, it could lead teachers to exaggerate differences between their students, particularly if their attributions towards students' potential successes or failures are influenced by irrelevant factors. If a teacher's biased perceptions lead them to perceive a connection between one's race and ethnicity and their scholarly achievement they may make their decisions as if these two things were perfectly correlated. By treating the two variables as if they were interconnected the teacher may perceive differences where they don't exist (Jussim, 1988, p.432). S U M M A R Y O F L I T E R A T U R E R E V I E W Many researchers have stated that racism may be a factor that impedes Aboriginal student's success in education, but to date there has been no substantial empirical data to support these claims. Teacher expectancy literature has demonstrated that a teacher's positive or negative expectations for a student can lead to observable changes in that student's behavior and that these influences can affect a student for up to six years. However, many of these studies do not directly discuss the impact irrelevant factors such as race, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and disability have upon such expectations, and those studies that do tend to focus more on gender and socio economic status and less on race and ethnicity. While the number of studies on the impact ethnicity has on teacher's expectation has been rising in the United States, most of these studies tend to focus on the relationship between Black and White students. Therefore they do not necessarily represent both the educational system and the cultural mix specific to 42 particular regions of Canada. To date there have been very few studies of ethnicity done in Canada (Clifton, 1986) and fewer still that address Aboriginal students specifically. Finally, attribution literature has demonstrated that how teachers formulate their expectations strongly influences how teachers attribute a student's success or failure. These attributions can be influenced by the stereotypes and biases of teachers. Attribution literature, while a useful tool to demonstrate how stereotypes can affect teachers' perceptions about behaviour toward particular students, does not provide any concrete examples of how those attributions affect the decisions teachers make regarding student placement. By integrating these three bodies of literature to form the foundation of my own work, I have outlined a framework that allows me to explore the central question of this study: When students are assigned to educational opportunities, how much of the decision is based upon achievement and how much is based upon the students' ascribed characteristics? The next chapter outlines the way in which I conducted the study and provides an overview of the respondents and the methods of data analysis. 43 C H A P T E R III: M E T H O D O L O G Y The investigation of the literature illustrated the need for the development of a study that would provide empirical evidence determining whether teachers' decisions for their students were based more upon achievement or students' ascribed characteristics. The meta-analysis of Pygmalion effects by Raudenbush (1984) indicated that "subjective impressions of people are more manipulable when previous information is ambiguous or missing" (Abelson, 1995, p. 152). In other words, if a teacher had prior contact with a student, the teacher would be more influenced by his or her interaction with the student than by abstract information. To eliminate the influence of prior experience with students as an influence on teacher judgments about them, I designed a study of decision-making using pre-service teachers as subjects. The subjects were asked to make decisions based on the records of 24 fictitious students. Each fictitious record described the student's prior academic history in grades 4 to 7 and also provided information about the student's background. The academic information was systematically varied within each category of students (Aboriginal, ESL, non-Aboriginal) and within each gender (M, F). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Music and Art were included in the transcripts. The records for each category of students were identical. The 24 student records were divided so that 8 would represent ESL students, 8 would represent Aboriginal students and 8 would be neutral. A respondent would be cued to recognize that a student was Aboriginal by including on the record information that the board had received Aboriginal funding for the student in one or more years. Similarly, by leaving the Aboriginal and English Second Language funding categories blank for 8 students, I hoped the respondent would infer that they were neither Aboriginal nor English as a Second Language. A website containing the student records were created. By placing the student records on to a secure web-site, pre- 44 service teachers were able to look through the student records quickly and easily at their own convenience. Once the web site had been secured and tested for accessibility, the voluntary participation of 50 pre-service teachers enrolled in the Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia was elicited by means of an announcement made in a course enrolling 350 elementary pre-service teachers. The pre-service teachers were invited to take part in a task designed to explore the nature of teacher judgement. The pre-service teachers were informed that the purpose of the study was to understand the kinds of decisions that beginning teachers make about the programs to which students should be assigned when they make the transition from elementary to secondary school. Brophy and Good's (1974) main criticism of Rosenthal's Pygmalion experiment was that it was experimentally induced and failed to portray what may occur under more natural conditions. To ensure the study seemed more "natural", pre-service teachers were informed that the student records were genuine and that any information that would enable teachers to identify the student, the school, or the school district had been removed from the record to protect the anonymity of the students. Although some minor deception was required in the undertaking of this study, I felt that, given the importance of the topic under investigation and the potential long term benefits of the study, some minor deception was acceptable. Furthermore, pre-service teachers were also informed that should they choose to participate in the study, their decisions would remain anonymous. Willing participants were directed to a secure web-address where they were presented with the task. Each volunteer was asked to (a) review the 24 fictitious permanent student records, (b) consider the criteria for program options (remedial, standard or advanced), and (c) using a scale from 1 to 10 with one representing Supplementary Learning Assistance, five representing the Regular Grade Eight Program and ten being the Rapid Advance program, teachers were 45 asked to recommend the program they believed was best suitable to each student based upon the eligibility criteria for the programs. Once the respondents had signed into the secure web site, a screen would appear informing them that the purpose of the study was to understand the kinds of decisions that beginning teachers make about the programs to which students should be assigned when they make the transition from elementary to secondary (high) school (see Table 1). They were then instructed to look at the following 24 screens, each containing the record of a student who had completed grade seven (see Table 2). They were then asked to review each student's record carefully using the direction buttons to move from screen to screen. Once they had reviewed the records, they were asked to make a recommendation to the secondary school that the student will attend. By selecting a number between one to ten, respondents could choose to make one of three recommendations: they could recommend students whose prior academic performance they considered to be quite strong to the Rapid Advance program; they could recommend students receive Supplementary Learning Assistance i f they believed the student's prior academic performance indicated that they would benefit from such assistance (Supplementary Learning Assistance is offered in place of a grade eight elective for those students who are likely to benefit from the study skills help and learning assistance); or, they could recommend a student be registered in the Regular Grade Eight Program of study. Pre-service teachers were given the opportunity to review all of their choices before making their final recommendation. Once the results from all fifty pre-service teachers were obtained, a statistical analysis was conducted. 46 Table 1: Web-site instructions for Pre-service teachers Teacher Decision-making Study The purpose of the study is to understand the kinds of decisions that beginning teachers m a k e abou t the programs to wh ich students should b e assigned w h e n they m a k e the transition from elementary to secondary (high) schoo l . Each of the fol lowing 24 screens contains the record of a student w h o has c o m p l e t e d g r a d e seven. Information that wou ld e n a b l e you to identify the student, the schoo l , or the school district has b e e n removed from the record to protect the anonymi ty of the students - e v e n their names have b e e n c h a n g e d to protect their pr ivacy. Please review e a c h student's record careful ly using the direct ion buttons to m o v e from screen to screen. When you h a v e rev iewed the records, you will b e asked to m a k e a recommenda t i on to the secondary school that the student will a t tend . You c a n make one of three recommendat ions : You c a n r e c o m m e n d that students whose prior a c a d e m i c pe r fo rmance is very strong b e cons idered for the Rapid Advance program, a program that enab les the student to c o m p l e t e five years of secondary school in four years by rep lac ing some elect ive courses with more a d v a n c e d a c a d e m i c work. You c a n r e c o m m e n d that students rece ive Supplementary Learning Assistance, if in your v iew their prior a c a d e m i c per fo rmance indicates that they wou ld benefi t from such assistance. Normally, Supplementary Learning Assistance is offered in p l a c e of a g rade eight e lect ive for those students w h o are likely to benefi t from the study skills help a n d learning assistance. After reviewing the student's record you may r e c o m m e n d that he or she b e registered in the Regular Grade Eight Program of study. The Regular Grade Eight Program of study is very similar to the program offered in the majority of BC's seconda ry schools. It includes English, Mathemat ics , Sc i ence , Socia l Studies, Physical Educat ion , a n d Explorations (10 weeks e a c h of Music, Art, Techno logy Studies, a n d Home Economics) . When you are ready, p lease use the arrow keys to cont inue to the next screen or to review any previous screens. Thank you. 47 Table 2: Sample Student Record Card Permanent Record - Intermediate Grades Student Name: Bat t i s t e Irene (Family Name) (Given Name) Date of Birth {inm/dd/yyyy) 0 6 / 0 9 / 1 9 9 0 Male: (Middle Name] Female: X Funding Year Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 Grade 7 Special Education Ahoiifiinal hducatlon J O J 2 0 0 ' $ $ Academic Record Mathematics Social Studies iM '.i Art Grade 4 Grade 5 Grade 6 ' A , B+:I Grade 7 1 ' i i l l i ^ S ^ r^rX^^lSKaS™ B B B+ • A- B B + A - Intcrmediatc achievement: A - Excellent: B « Above Average; C - Average: D - Below Average; U = Unsatisfactory 48 C H A P T E R IV: R E S U L T S AND DISCUSSION In this chapter I describe the analysis and results of the study, contextualizing the results within the literature. The task asked pre-service teachers to recommend the placement of fictional students at the grade eight level on the basis of the student's prior achievement using a scale of 1 to 10. Pre-service teachers were able to assign a rating of 1 indicating that they strongly recommended that the student receive remedial assistance in the coming year. Pre- service teachers were able to assign a 10 to those students whom they believed were capable of undertaking an enriched program that would allow them to complete five years of high school in four years. Ratings in the mid-range were assigned to those students for whom the raters believed placement in a traditional grade 8 program was recommended. The pre-service teachers were provided with a student record for each student with the grades that the student had earned in grades four through seven. The record card also contained information about the student's gender and information about whether the school board had received funding for the student because he or she was an Aboriginal learner or a learner for whom English was not a first language. The prior achievement of the students was manipulated to ensure that male and female students, and students in each of the categories (Aboriginal, ESL, and neither Aboriginal nor ESL) had identical records of prior achievement. The fictional students manifest four levels of prior achievement: low, low-medium, high- medium and high. I anticipated that the ratings assigned to each student would reflect their level of prior achievement. Students whose prior achievement was low would receive lower ratings than students whose prior achievement was low-medium. Students whose prior achievement was low-medium would receive lower ratings than students whose prior achievement was high- medium. And students whose prior achievement was high-medium would receive lower ratings than students whose prior achievement was high. 49 Once the ratings from all 50 pre-service teachers had been obtained, a statistical analysis was conducted of the data using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (version 12). Means were calculated for each category or prior student achievement for males and females, and for students whose records indicated that the school board had received additional funding because they were Aboriginal learners or learners for whom English was not a first language, or students for whom the school board received no additional funding because they were neither Aboriginal nor ESL learners. If raters only attended to the prior achievement of students, only the mean ratings for prior grade point would differ. If they were attending to the attributed group membership (Aboriginal, ESL, or neither) the mean ratings of those groups would differ. A statistical analysis was conducted once the ratings from all 50 pre-service teachers had been obtained. SPSS 12.00 was used to analyze the data. Table 3 reports the means and standard deviations for each of the analytical categories of interest to this study. Table 3: Comparison of mean class assignments by gender, ethnic group and GPA level Minimum Maximum Mean Std. Deviation female 4.92 8.17 6.7550 .75657 male 4.83 8.25 6.7367 .77360 ESL 4.75 8.25 6.5800 .83328 Aboriginal 4.25 8.38 6.7375 .90465 non- 5.25 Aboriginal 8.25 6.9200 .66613 GPA 1 2.83 6.83 5.0167 .82564 GPA 2 4.83 8.17 6.3967 .79174 GPA 3 4.67 9.50 6.9433 1.01720 GPA 4 5.00 10.00 8.6267 1.11400 In Table 3 the mean ratings differ for each analytical category (grade point average, gender and attributed group membership). A general linear model/repeated measures test was conducted to determine the significance of their differences and of the interactions among the variables. 50 The results of the repeated measures test are reported in Table 4 below. Table 4: Correlations among the Variables Multivariate Tests (b) Effect | Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. GPA Pillai's Trace .891 130.608(a) 3.000 48.000 .000 sex Pillal's Trace .001 .046(a) 1.000 50.000 .831 group Pillai's Trace .324 11.769(a) 2.000 49.000 .000 sex * group Pillai's Trace .082 2.188(a) 2.000 49.000 .123 sex * gpa Pillai's Trace .312 7.259(a) 3.000 48.000 .000 group * gpa Pillai's Trace .361 4.237(a) 6.000 45.000 .002 group * gpa * sex Pillai's Trace .268 2.743(a) 6.000 45.000 .023 As expected, the tests reveal that the differences in teacher ratings of students by prior level of achievement were significant (p<0.00). The differences between the mean ratings of male and female were not significant (p=.831). The differences in the mean ratings assigned to Aboriginal, ESL, and students who were neither were also significant (p<.000), indicating that these fifty pre-service teachers were influenced by students' attributed group membership. The test also illustrates that there were also significant interactions between sex and GPA (p<0.001) and group and GPA (p<0.001), and between sex, group and G P A (p<0.0GT). Figure 1 illustrates results for female students and figure 2 for male students. Subsequent analysis will disaggregate the results. 51 Figure 1: Profile Plot of three-way interaction between female, group, and GPA Comparison of mean class assignment for female students by group and GPA level 52 Figure 2 : Profile Plot of three-way interaction between male, group, and GPA Comparison of mean class assignment for male students by group and GPA level Male group ESL Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal gpa Figure 1 illustrates that the teacher's mean ratings for female students are largely based on the students GPA level. Figure 2 also demonstrates that teacher's mean ratings for male students are also largely based on the students GPA level however the three-way interaction illustrated in figure 2 also shows that ESL males have been rated significantly lower than Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal males. There is also some random variation within the mean ratings of ESL students which may indicate that another factor is influencing teacher's ratings of ESL students aside from gender or group. It may also be an indication that teacher's mean ratings of ESL students were also dependent on the attributed group ESL students' belonged to 53 since ESL students were given both Asian and Middle-Eastern names. Although this area of investigation does not lie within the scope of this particular study, this phenomenon deserves further investigation. Figure 3 illustrates the comparison of the teacher's mean ratings for male and female by all 4 GPA levels. This figure shows that it is only at the lowest level (Level 1) of GPA where the ratings between boys and girls differ with boys rating lower than girls. Figure 3 : Profile Plots between male and female over GPA Comparison of mean class assignment for male and female sex — Female — Male gpa A paired samples t-test was conducted comparing males and females at each GPA level in order to determine whether the differences observed were significant. The paired sample t-test below (Table 5) illustrates that it is only at the lowest level that ratings between boys and girls differ significantly (p<0.001) with boys being rated lower than girls. 54 Table 5: Paired Samples t-test between boys and girls at each GPA level Sig. (2- Paired Differences t df tailed) 95% Confidence Std. Std. Error Interval of the Mean Deviation Mean Difference Lower Upper Pair 1 girlsl -boysl .28105 .67782 .09491 .09041 .47168 2.961 50 .005 Pair 2 girls2 - boys2 -.15033 .63705 .08921 -.32950 .02885 -1.685 50 .098 Pair 3 girls3 - boys3 -.12418 .54959 .07696 -.27876 .03039 -1.614 50 .113 Pair 4 girls4 - boys4 -.05229 .97837 .13700 -.32746 .22288 -.382 50 .704 Next I look at how the 3 groups (ESL, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal) differed by GPA. A repeated measures one way comparison was done by comparing the mean ratings of pre-service teachers by the 3 groups at each GPA level. Figure 4 illustrates that it is both at the lowest level (level 1) of GPA and middle-highest level (level 3) where there is a significant difference between the teachers' mean ratings, with ESL students rated lower than both Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal students ratings (see Table 6). The fact that a significant difference was found among students with a lower GPA level is important since it is at the lower GPA levels when students are most at risk of being placed in a remedial classroom. Smith et al. (1999) have found in their study on teacher expectations that a decision made regarding a student one year can continue to have an affect upon that student several years later. Research has shown that students placed in remedial classrooms are less likely to be advanced into the higher level courses which may enable them to attain university acceptance. It is for this reason that the decision to place a student in a remedial classroom may have significant long term affects upon the student's future. It is notable that there was also significant difference found at level 3 because this may be an indication that students with 55 particular attributed group memberships are being held back from academic opportunities that are available to other students of equal achievement level. Figure 4 : Profile Plot of comparison between mean class assignments of group over GPA. Comparison of mean class assignment for groups group • ESL • Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal gpa Table 6:One-way comparisons at each GPA GPA 1 Effect Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. group Pillai's Trace .304 10.704(a) 2.000 49.000 .000 GPA 2 Effect | Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. group Pillai's Trace .063 1.639(a) 2.000 49.000 .205 GPA 3 Effect Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. group Pillai's Trace .243 7.849(a) 2.000 49.000 .001 GPA 4 Effect Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. group Pillai's Trace .055 1.430(a) 2.000 49.000 .249 56 A paired samples t-test was conducted between each of the groups (ESL/Aboriginal, Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal, ESL/ non-Aboriginal) at the lowest GPA level in order to determine if there was a significant difference between each groups' mean ratings. The relationship between ESL students and Aboriginal students was significant (p<0.001) as was the relationship between ESL students and non-Aboriginal students (p<0.001) with ESL students being lower. This study has indicated a tendency to rate ESL students lower than other students and although it was not within the scope of this study to attend to this factor, future studies should consider what happens to second language students in schools. Table 7: Paired samples t-test between each of the 3 groups (ESL/Aboriginal/Non-aboriginal) Paired Samples Test Paired Differences Std. Error Mean 95% Confidence Interval of the Difference Mean Std. Deviation Lower Upper t df Sig. (2- tailed) Pair 1 kidselsl - kidsaborl -.46078 1.08094 .15136 -.76480 .15677 -3.044 50 .004 Pair 2 kidsaborl - kidsnoni -.21569 1.01614 .14229 -.50148 .07011 -1.516 50 .136 Pair 3 kidselsl - kidsnoni -.67647 1.04319 .14608 -.96987 .38307 -4.631 50 .000 Repeated measures test comparing only Aboriginal with non-Aboriginal students For the purposes of this study, I was predominately concerned with the results for and between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students. The next step of this analysis consisted only of comparisons made between Aboriginal students and non-Aboriginal students at each GPA level. ESL students were not included in this stage as they were not the prime focus of this particular study. The final repeated measures test was applied to aggregated records with the dependent variable being the teacher's ratings and the independent variables being all of the Aboriginal and 57 non-Aboriginal students. The ratings for the ESL students were excluded from the remaining analysis so as to determine if pre-service teachers were discriminatory towards Aboriginal students. Figure 5 and Table 8 illustrate that, although teachers were still paying attention to the student's GPA level (p<0.001) as requested, there was a significant difference between the teacher's ratings of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal students (p<0.021) with Aboriginal students consistently being rated lower than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. This was despite the fact that the fictional students in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal categories had been given identical records of prior achievement. This study shows that the fifty pre-service teachers who participated in this study consistently rated Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students of the same achievement level differently, with Aboriginal students always being rated lower than their non- Aboriginal counterparts. This means that these pre-service teachers were influenced by the attributed group memberships of the fictional students. It also indicates that these fifty pre- service teachers were systematically prejudicial with regards to the decisions made surrounding students of Aboriginal group membership which some researchers (Dei et al. 2004, Ungerleider, 2003) have regarded as racism. Although the differences among attributed groups were not extreme, it is interesting to note that there was a tendency to rate students lower at lower levels since it is at the lower levels when students are most likely to be placed in remedial classrooms. Since studies have indicated that students placed in remedial classes are less likely to attain the requirements necessary for higher education, what may appear to be only a minor difference may actually have a significant impact on a student if the students who are rated lower at lower levels are placed in remedial classrooms. This discovery may be of particular significance to Aboriginal students with lower GPA averages, as placement into a remedial classroom may have a long-term impact on both their educational and occupational future. It also may have an impact 58 on Aboriginal students at more advanced levels who may be denied access to academic opportunities available to other students at the same level of achievement. Figure 5: Profile plot of comparison of mean class assignment for Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal and GPA Level Comparison of mean class assignment for Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal students and GPA level group - Aboriginal Non-Aboriginal gpa Table 8: Comparison of Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal and GPA Level (girls and boys combined) Effect Value F Hypothesis df Error df Sig. group Pillai's Trace .101 5.643(a) 1.000 50.000 .021 gpa Pillai's Trace .878 115.409(a) 3.000 48.000 .000 group * gpa Pillai's Trace .001 .011(a) 3.000 48.000 .998 Summary In the next chapter I examine the implication of my study for the broader educational field and suggest ways in which the research might be extended. 59 CHAPTER V: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS In this chapter I reflect on what the study means for educational policy makers and education more broadly. I also discuss ways in which the study might be extended. TEACHERS' DECISIONS REGARDING ABORIGINAL AND NON-ABORIGINAL GROUPS The results of this study indicate that when pre-service teachers were asked to make recommendations about the placement of students in grade eight, their recommendations were influenced by the student's prior academic achievement as well as the students' attributed group membership such as a students' Aboriginal or non-Aboriginal status. There is a problem when two students who demonstrate the same level of achievement are rated differently. This limited study confirms Wilson's assertion that, "Even before teachers knew the [Aboriginal] students, they prejudge them. They could not imagine that these students would ever be successful. Students were classified as unable to cope with a heavy academic load." (1991, p.379) and as result are often placed in vocational or special needs classes (Wilson, 1991 as cited by St. Denis and Hampton). In this study teachers were asked to rate students they had never met and still they placed Aboriginal students lower than their non-Aboriginal counterparts. This may be particularly problematic in the case of lower level Aboriginal students who may be more likely to be placed in remedial classrooms. Anti-racist theorists have been largely critical of the process of tracking (Sirotnik, 1994; Oakes, 1995; Broussard and Joseph, 1998, Dei et al, 2003) and not without good reason. Jussim (1986) stated that "research with actual classrooms has also shown that teachers work harder for high-track classes than low-track classes" (Jussim, 1986, p. 438). Tamera Murdock (1999) points out that "studies suggest that opportunities to be mentally active and 60 develop independent thought axe more prevalent in higher track as compared to lower track settings" (Murdock, 1999, p.63). Dei et al. (2003) have described the process of streaming as a way to perpetuate the existence of stereotypes and labeling in a way that makes it appear invisible. In the United States, researcher Judith R. Blau (2003) remarks that "to the extent that high schools are stratified by race and ethnicity, they create different social and physical spaces for different racial and ethnic groups. Asians and white mostly share one social and physical space, and black and Latinos mostly share another" (Blau, 2003, p. 134). Streaming or tracking has the potential to limit student achievement. Some practices are more problematic when practitioners make decisions on the basis of arbitrary factors such as attributed group membership. Smith et al. (1999) concluded in their study that "the self-fulfilling prophecy effects that occur in one year may, on average, lead to small differences between targets of high and low expectations that endure for a very long period" (Smith et al. 1999, p.563). A decision to place an Aboriginal student in a remedial classroom may shut the doors on opportunities to pursue a university education. It also may mean that Aboriginal students at higher levels may be overlooked for the same academic opportunities available to their non-Aboriginal peers. W H A T D O E S THIS M E A N F O R T E A C H E R S 7 - P R A C T I C A L I M P L I C A T I O N S Discrimination and racism are difficult and sensitive areas to study. When interpreting the results of this research the point is not to accuse teachers or turn teachers into scapegoats. Teachers are an integral part of society and society as a whole needs to understand not only the educational consequences of teacher's attitudes and perceptions but also of the social structures that hold these attitudes in place. St. Denis and Hampton state that "on one hand there is very 61 little research and educational literature on racism and Aboriginal people, yet on the other hand, the literature is filled with references to the effects of racism on Aboriginal people in educational institutions" (St. Denis and Hampton, 2002, p.4). The present research fills a small gap, the lack of empirical evidence, in much of the literature on racism and discrimination. Since teachers are in a position to make life changing decisions regarding their students, "one needs to inquire into how teachers themselves and student-teachers may be helped to become aware of and change any narrow-minded, racist, ethnocentric, or stereotyped attitudes or beliefs they may have" (Figueroa, 1991, p.93). Studies such as this one bring us one step closer to documenting the problem of racism. If we know the problem exists, we are more likely to arrive at solutions. Peter Figueroa (1991) states that as Educators we need to: seek greater conceptual clarification, and a greater understanding of: the social roots of teachers' attitudes; the educational consequences, if any, of these attitudes; the mechanisms which might be involved; and the ways in which, directly or indirectly, negative ^forces' can be countered or removed and positive ones introduced or supported (Figueroa, 1991, p.90). Teachers need to be active participants in the process of identifying problems and finding solutions regarding discrimination in the classroom. Their input towards what goes on in the classroom may be pivotal in determining what areas need to be addressed and the ways in which to address them. It may be particularly crucial to address teachers undergoing pre-service teacher training about issues surrounding racism and discrimination since it is at this time when teachers are developing their skills for future practice in the classroom. LIMITATIONS AND W A Y S IN W H I C H STUDY C O U L D B E I M P R O V E D A generalization of the results in any study should be advanced with caution; this study is no exception. First, this study included pre-service teachers from one teacher-preparation program. More research will need to be conducted throughout Canada before one can more 62 generally accept the findings that teacher's decisions are influenced by arbitrary factors such as a student's race and ethnicity. Other limitations to the study involved both the range of the independent variables included in the study and the scope of information included within the data collected. For example there are other status variables such as income level that were not included in the study but may have an influence on the kinds of decisions teachers make. This study did not include income level simply because it would have meant having to extend the sample size of pre- service teachers participating. However, subsequent studies of this nature should include income-level among its list of potentially influential variables. Further studies should investigate the relationship between later characteristics and their judgments. How, for example, does a rater's background moderate or accentuate the phenomenon? R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S F O R F U T U R E INVESTIGATIONS Since a decision a teacher makes at any given point may have a significant impact on a child's long-term future, it is imperative to determine the scale of the problem. Future studies similar to this should be done in various educational departments throughout the country. Studies should also be conducted with teachers already working within the educational system in order to determine whether or not discrimination is more prevalent among pre-service teachers or among teachers who have been working within the system for sometime. Finally, pre-service teachers were told to pay attention to the student's educational achievement level when selecting a student's rating. The study indicates that teachers did do exactly that as the ratings were largely determined by a student's educational achievement. It would be interesting then to determine whether or not a teacher's decision could be equally influenced if the teacher was instructed to 63 only pay attention to a students' prior performance and cautioned about being influenced by arbitrary factors such as a student's race, class or gender. The study also indicated a tendency to rank ESL students lower than others. Although it was not within the scope of this study to attend to this factor, future studies should consider what happens to second language students in schools. By replicating this study around the country and by creating the aforementioned follow-up studies, policy-makers may have a more precise indication of the extent to which discrimination plays a role in the decisions teachers make and the things that can be done to prevent decision- making bias from occurring. C O N C L U S I O N : Racism and discrimination are complex topics in that like rocks thrown into a pond, they cannot always be easily identified and yet their impact ripples throughout the environment. Racism and discrimination, like the rocks, can not move spontaneously and must be activated by an individual or groups of individuals. Once let go, one may see the ripples but the rocks and the ones who cast them may have disappeared. Such is the difficulty in identifying racism and discrimination as critical factors in the lack of educational success among particular students. Without the empirical data to help identify "where the rocks were thrown and who threw them?" creating effective strategies to combat discrimination within schools will be difficult. The eradication of racism and discrimination within schools is contingent upon our understanding and awareness of where the problem lies and the ways in which it can be addressed. Empirical evidence can aid in this process and studies such as this one have illustrated that such evidence can be obtained. 64 Is the process worth it? In 1965, John Porter in "The Vertical Mosaic" remarked on the "appalling waste" of human resources. He refers to the "Paulend study" where "records of students born in one year indicated that there were fifty-six with I. Q's of over 120, but of these only twelve reached university" (Porter, 1965, p. 196) in part because the other students did not have the financial means to obtain a university education. 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