Cultural diversity and student achievement - the moderating role of teachers' diversity-related attitudes

Thielmann, Merle

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Cultural Diversity and Student Achievement (MA)_2021.pdf - Published

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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:180-madoc-617134
Document Type: Final Thesis , Master's
Year of publication: 2021
Place of publication: Mannheim
University: Universität Mannheim
Evaluator: Karst, Karina
Publication language: English
Institution: School of Social Sciences > Unterrichtsqualität in heterogenen Kontexten (Juniorprofessur) (Karst 2016-)
Subject: 370 Education
Keywords (English): diversity , cultural diversity , heterogeneity , teacher attitudes , reading achievement
Abstract: As the proportion of children with cultural minority backgrounds rises in German schools, interest in the effects of cultural diversity on student outcomes has increased. Empirical findings on this effect have been inconsistent up to now. While a positive effect of cultural diversity on achievement through improvement of cognitive development, divergent thinking and minority students’ feeling of belonging seems likely, an unmediated effect is theoretically less plausible. This paper also explores the possibility that teachers’ attitudes towards diversity could moderate the effect of cultural diversity on student achievement by positively affecting instructional quality. Both the effect of cultural diversity and the possible moderation through teacher attitudes are investigated using data on the reading achievement of N = 1614 German fifth–graders. Multilevel analyses find no significant effect of the variety of cultural backgrounds beyond the proportion of minority students. Possible reasons for this are explored in follow–up analyses and discussed. Teachers’ attitudes also did not emerge as a significant moderator of this relationship, leading to a discussion on the aims of current political programmes promoting teachers from cultural minority backgrounds with the understanding that they show more positive attitudes towards diversity. It is also concluded that future research could focus more strongly on social processes as mediators of the diversity–achievement effect.
Translation of the title: Kulturelle Diversität und die Leseleistung von Schüler:innen - Diversitätsbezogene Lehrkrafteinstellungen als Moderator (German)

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ORCID: Thielmann, Merle ORCID: 0000-0003-4722-8080

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