Teachers’ and Parental Attribution for School Performance of Ethnic Majority and Minority Children

Inge B. Wissink, Mariette de Haan


This study examines whether teachers’ and parental attributions for children’s school performance differ depending on the ethnic background of the child. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, real-life attributions within 54 teacher - parent conversations (15 ethnic majority; 39 minority) were examined. The results indicated that, compared with majority children, teachers attributed school performance of minority children more often to effort (also after controlling for the child’s level of school performance). At the same time, the analyses showed that these differences in attributional behavior co-occur with differences in the teacher-parents’ interaction and should be understood through including the conversational setting in which these attributions were made. The results are discussed in light of what the particular mismatches and lack of congruence in explaining school success between parents and teachers mean for the school performance of minority children.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijhe.v2n4p65


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International Journal of Higher Education
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