Teachers' influence on the self-concept of pupils of different ethnic origins
The background of this research is the concern about the lack of educational progress amongst pupils of some e-uhnic minority groups notably those of West Indian origin and expressed disquiet about the influence of their teachers' ethnocentrism. Central to its design is a new form of multi-ethnic classroom interaction analysis which identifies the extent to which Flanders' ten interaction categories are used with the whole class or with individual boys and girls of European, Asian or West Indian origins. Accepting the influence of pupils' self-concept on academic achievement this research investigates associations between the level of the pupils' self-concept and the extent teachers use different forms, modes, patterns and styles of teaching when interacting with boys and girls of European, Asian or West Indian origins and investigates the influence of the teachers' personal characteristics, their degree of ethnocentrism and the types of attitudes held about education. The sample consists of 70 teachers and their 1,814 pupils in 6 schools of 2 Local Education Authorities. The results show that men and women teachers give strong preference to individual teaching and differ in the emphases they give to the use of different nodes of teaching with boys and girls of different ethnic origins. The evidence presented shows some associations between certain modes of teaching as used by men and women teachers and the self-concepts of their pupils, Ethnocentrism amongst the teachers is used as a major variable and the use of the ten modes of teaching is analysed in respect of two extreme tolerance groups. The research provides empirical evidence which suggests that teachers' ethnocentrism may be an influential factor in the multi-ethnic classroom and indicates that highly tolerant and highly intolerant teachers give very different emphases to certain modes of teaching some of which are associated with the self-concept level of their ethnically different pupils. After presenting evidence to show that teachers' attitudes towards education tend to foster certain teaching styles, which appear to be associated with the pupils' self-concepts, the implications of the research are discussed and new areas of research proposed.