Educational institutions and inequality in track placement, and its repercussions for students

Teacher expectations and track recommendations for similarly achieving children are higher when they come from more affluent families. Using vignette experiments and observational data, I try unravel the role of the national and school context on the formation of these expectations.

Teacher expectations and track placements can also function as a signal to students, and may come to serve as a self-fulfilling prophecy. That is, ‘high’ teacher expectations and track placements may boost students’ academic self-concept, expectations, and subsequent school engagement and performance; whereas ‘low’ teacher expectations and track placements do the exact opposite. I try to unravel how students from different backgrounds vary in their responses to the signals that their track placement or track recommendation convey.

This project is carried out by Sara Geven and funded by the NWO Veni grant, entitled “What do you expect? Studying teacher expectations through an institutional lens”.