Teachers' judgments of students' academic functioning: A comparison of actual and predicted performances

Michelle K. Demaray, Stephen N. Elliott

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

86 Scopus citations

Abstract

The relationship between teachers' judgments of students' academic achievement and students' performances on an achievement test was investigated. The major questions examined were: (a) How accurate are teachers' ratings of students' academic achievement? (b) What is the relationship between teachers' judgments, as operationalized by item predictions on a standardized achievement test, and students' actual performances on an achievement test? (c) Does a student's educational status, high-achieving versus low-achieving, affect the accuracy of teachers' judgments? The study included 12 teachers who volunteered to participate, and 47 students randomly selected from Wisconsin public schools. The students consisted of 30 females and 17 males, ranging from first- to fourth-grade levels. Teachers filled out the Academic Competence Scale from the Social Skills Rating System-Teacher version (Gresham & Elliott, 1990) and one questionnaire for each student. The questionnaire, developed by the authors of the current study, required teachers to predict how students would do on each item of the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement, Brief form (K-TEA; Kaufman & Kaufman, 1985). Students were then administered the K-TEA by a qualified examiner. Teachers' judgments of students' academic achievement on the Academic Competence Scale were correlated moderately high (r = .70) with students' actual K-TEA scores. Furthermore, mean percent agreement between teachers' item predictions and students' actual performances on the K-TEA was moderately high (79%) (Kappa-coefficient of 67%). Lastly, there was partial support for the prediction that teachers were better predictors of higher-achieving than lower-achieving students. Analyses demonstrated a slightly higher percent agreement between teachers and students with above-average K-TEA scores (81%) than between teachers and students with below-average K-TEA scores (77%). This article concludes with a discussion of the practical implications of these findings for psychologists conducting academic assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-24
Number of pages17
JournalSchool Psychology Quarterly
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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