Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Parents Want Teachers Who Make Children Happy

Date:
December 7, 2007
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Parents prefer teachers who make their children happy even more than those who emphasize academic achievement, a new study shows. When requesting a teacher for their elementary school children, parents are more likely to choose teachers who receive high student satisfaction ratings than teachers with strong achievement ratings.

Parents prefer teachers who make their children happy even more than those who emphasize academic achievement, a new University of Michigan study shows.

Related Articles


When requesting a teacher for their elementary school children, parents are more likely to choose teachers who receive high student satisfaction ratings than teachers with strong achievement ratings, said Brian Jacob, the study's co-author and director of the Center on Local, State and Urban Policy at the U-M Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy.

These findings, however, mask striking differences across schools. Families in higher poverty schools strongly value student achievement and appear indifferent to the principal's report of a teacher's ability to promote student satisfaction. The results are reversed for families in wealthier schools.

"The value of this study is that it helps education practitioners and policymakers better understand how factors such as family poverty can influence what parents are looking for in a school," Jacob said. "While all parents presumably want what is best for their children, this can mean very different things depending on the school and neighborhood context."

Lars Lefgren, an economist at Brigham Young University, co-authored the study.

The study is the first known review of its kind to examine parents' preferences using information on parent requests for specific teachers within a school. The sample included more than 300 kindergarten through sixth grade teachers in a mid-sized school district in western United States. This district did not have a formal procedure for parent requests, but parents could submit requests to principals before class assignments were made.

Within a school, there were no differences between more and less advantaged parents who requested a teacher in terms of the value the parents placed on student satisfaction versus student achievement.

The findings were consistent with a model in which high- and low-income parents have similar preferences for student outcomes, but face constraints that are correlated with school demographics. Academic resources are typically more limited in higher-poverty schools—for example, such schools generally have more disruptive peers, lower academic expectations, fewer financial resources and less experience teachers. Parents in these schools may seek teachers skilled at improving achievement even if it means sacrificing student satisfaction, the researchers said. In higher-income schools, where academic resources are more abundant, a teacher's focus on academic achievement may be less valuable than his or her ability to help students enjoy school and learning.

The study also found that parents of low-income, minority and low-achieving children are less likely to make requests for specific teachers than other parents.

"Programs that increase the focus on basic skills or classroom management at the expense of student enjoyment or other academic outputs not measured on standardized tests are more likely to be unpopular in higher-income schools," said Jacob, who is the Walter H. Annenberg Professor of Education Policy and Professor of Economics at the Ford School.

The findings appear in the new issue of the Quarterly Journal of Economics.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Parents Want Teachers Who Make Children Happy." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206163305.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2007, December 7). Parents Want Teachers Who Make Children Happy. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206163305.htm
University of Michigan. "Parents Want Teachers Who Make Children Happy." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/12/071206163305.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Yoga Could Be As Beneficial For The Heart As Walking, Biking

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Yoga can help your weight, blood pressure, cholesterol and heart just as much as biking and walking does, a new study suggests. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

1st Responders Trained for Autism Sensitivity

AP (Dec. 16, 2014) More departments are ordering their first responders to sit in on training sessions that focus on how to more effectively interact with those with autism spectrum disorder (Dec. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Guys Are Idiots, According To Sarcastic Study

Newsy (Dec. 12, 2014) A study out of Britain suggest men are more idiotic than women based on the rate of accidental deaths and other factors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

Believing in Father Christmas Good for Children's Imaginations

AFP (Dec. 12, 2014) As the countdown to Christmas gets underway, so too does the Father Christmas conspiracy. But psychologists say that telling our children about Santa, flying reindeer and elves is good for their imaginations. Duration: 01:57 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins