Kai Cortina, Professor of Psychology; Director of the Joint Program in Social Work and Psychology

Do teachers respond fairly to misbehavior? Findings of a mobile eye-tracking study in regular classrooms

Abstract: There is a lot of evidence suggesting that student demographics are a factor in everyday classroom interactions. However, the claims are often conflicting. For example, some assume that girls get less attention which means their contributions as well as individual needs are more often overlooked. Others claim that boys tend to misbehave because teachers focus more on high achieving girls in the class. Some researchers claim that minority students are more scrutinized by teachers and hence their misbehavior is more likely to be noticed and reprimanded. With mobile eye tracking, we recorded how often 42 teachers focused on each individual student during a regular classroom period. These data were matched with regular video recording which we used to identify student misbehavior during class. While boys and girls displayed different profiles in the kind of classroom norm violations, the teacher responses were consistently based on the misbehavior type and not gender. We will demonstrate how mobile eye-tracking has great potential to investigate controversial issues in classroom research without being dependent on - potentially biased - observers. Overall, our findings support the idea of pedagogical "withitness" as a skill of successful teaching as it was popularized by Kounin 50 years ago.

Stream talk here.

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