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Teachers' differential behavior

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Abstract

This paper reviews research and theory pertaining to teachers' differential treatment of different students in the classroom. Research on the behavioral-mediation (or transmission) of teacher expectancies is the major source of information about teachers' differential behavior toward high and low achievers. The common behaviors in expectancy-mediation research are listed, together with their meta-analytic effect magnitudes. A proposed conceptualization of teachers' differential behavior distinguishes between (a) the relatively equitable distribution of teachers' feedback; (b) compensation of low achievers in the instructional domain; and (c) a reversed trend of providing a warmer emotional climate and more positive affect to high achievers. Subsequent discussion focuses on students' perceptions of teachers' differential behavior, with special emphasis on gaps between students' and teachers' perceptions in the affective domain. Latter sections of the paper review teachers' differential behavior toward specific student types, particularly toward teachers' pets, and teachers' differential behavior in the physical space of the classroom.

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Babad, E. Teachers' differential behavior. Educ Psychol Rev 5, 347–376 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01320223

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