The evaluation of English- and French-Canadian students by English- and French-Canadian teachers
Cohen, Constance Rose
The purpose of this research, carried out in St. Boniface, Manitoba was to determine whether French-and English-Canadian students are evaluated differentially. Because the French-Canadian sterotype appears to reflect both their lower socio-economic status and the difficulties French-Canadian youngsters experience in the educational system, it was hypothesized that both English-and French-Canadian teachers would evaluate French-Canadian students more negatively than English-Canadian students. Because increased contact with the outgroup reduces the tendency to sterotype, it was hypothesized that teachers who have had classroom contact with the other language group would be less biased than those who have not. It was also hypothesized that the amount of bias shown toward French-Canadian students would change as they progressed from grade one to grade three. Teachers of grades one and three were asked to evaluate arithmetic and printing or handwriting exercises of ten children, and also to rate the children's overall academic ability on the basis of this work. For half of the teachers the work of a given child was attributed to an English-Canadian. Analyses of variance for each of the dependent measures revealed no significant differences between the English-and French-attributed versions of the protocols. No differences were found between grades one and three. A comparison of teachers with and without outgroup contact was not possible due to few single-group contact teachers. The findings were discussed in terms of the quality of protocols evaluated and the possibility that attitudes toward French-and English-Canadians by St. Boniface teachers may not reflect those found in other regions of Canada for political, social, or cultural reasons.