Were you ever the teacher's pet? Or did you just sit behind the teacher's pet and roll your eyes from time to time?
A newly published paper suggests that personality similarity affects teachers' estimation of student achievement. That is, how much you are like your teacher contributes to his or her feelings about you — and your abilities.
"Astonishingly, little is known about the formation of teacher judgments and therefore about the biases in judgments," says Tobias Rausch, an author of the study and a research scientist at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg in Germany. "However, research tells us that teacher judgments often are not accurate."
This study looked at a group of 93 teachers and 294 students in eighth grade in Germany. Everyone took a short test to establish basic features of their personalities: extraversion, agreeableness and the like.
They gave the students reading and math tests too, sharing the test items with the teachers. Then they asked the teachers two questions: How good is this student compared to an average eighth grader? How well will this student do on this test?