Poor Kids and Public Schools
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Poor Kids and Public Schools book
This chapter demonstrates the means by which teachers' assumptions manifest themselves within the class-room setting. These assumptions transform themselves into expectations for individual children, with the result that differential treatment is accorded various members of the same class. Educational officials and teachers have been persuaded—and particularly have persuaded themselves—that the causes of the educational retardation of Negro children are not to be found in the quality of teaching or school supervision. They have explained this chronic problem in terms of the children's alleged personal deficiencies—hostility and aggressiveness towards authority, low attention span, lack of educational experiences prior to entering school, and low motivation for academic work. Within the classrooms, one of the seemingly inescapable consequences of the segregation systems was that the children themselves quickly picked up what it meant to be on one side of the barrier or the other.