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Psychologists say teachers may grade differently based on pupils’ personalities


Psychologists say teachers may grade differently based on pupils’ personalities

There are new fears that teachers may be swayed by personalities and overmark when awarding grades this year. 

A study has shown that teachers can be influenced by personality traits and award higher grades to students who are agreeable and are more likely to receive better grades.

Photo: Exams in the United Kingdom have been cancelled for a second year in a row because of the Coronavirus pandemic. Credit: Flickr.

This has raised yet more questions for how grades should be awarded in the future in the event of not being able to hold future exams.

Dr Papageorgiou, from Queen’s School of Psychology, told Express and Star “These results suggest that teacher ratings might reflect some conscious or unconscious biases, such as judging more leniently the students that they perceive as more focused on school tasks, who are well behaved in interpersonal contexts and who are more emotionally fragile.”

Last summer students were originally awarded their grades by using the standardisation algorithm. This system was set up to stop biased grades by tutors but was heavily criticised after almost 36% were left with a lower grade than their teacher marking.  

The government was forced into a u-turn and awarded the unmoderated teachers’ grades. 

But some parents now may feel as if this is a system that needs to be reintroduced following this study to eliminate any potential bias which could occur in final grades. 

However, Education Secretary Gavin Williamson has insisted there will be no return of the algorithm system, he said: 

The Government was ‘putting trust in teachers’ rather than using an algorithm.”

Photo: Education secretary Gavin Williamson has ruled out a return of an algorithm system for school exams. Credit: Flickr.

Teacher grades will be awarded through coursework, mock exams or essays. The grades will be submitted to the exam board by 18th June, this is to give pupils as much time to make up for lost learning time. 

Teachers will also have to follow guidance issued by the government when marking their exams but this study would have alarmed parents and students.  

By Jack Friend

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