Article | Are You Being Fair?
An interesting article for teachers. Perhaps this weekend could be a good time to reflect on fairness – do we always know if we are being fair in class?
Babad, who in the late 80s studied the teacher’s pet phenomenon, says problems arise in the classroom when educators’ non-verbal behaviors, which can be extremely subtle, differ toward high achievers and low achievers. Those varied behaviors can make students angry or dissatisfied, he says.
“Favoritism in a larger sense has not to do with the teacher’s pet, but with the fact that teachers transmit different kinds of emotions to different students and students absorb that and interpret it and their feelings are influenced by that,” says Babad, author of The Social Psychology of the Classroom.
Luckily, there are things teachers can do to spread the love. Veteran educators have developed lots of tricks and self-assessment methods over the years to help ensure fairness, especially when calling on students, grading, rewarding, and interacting in general with them.