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This article examines the agreement and accuracy of teachers' judgments of their pupils. The data were collected in a primary school in the Netherlands where four teachers and 87 pupils, ranging from grade 2 to 5 (aged 7 to 10 years), participated in this study. The teachers appeared to make use of the same pupil characteristics and the same scale levels in judging their pupils. These teachers generated pupil characteristics that included sociability, self-confidence, troublesomeness and working attitude, which correspond substantially to the Big Five. However, it was found that teachers are not particularly accurate in judging their pupils. Except for ‘troublesomeness’, there was little correspondence between teachers' ratings of pupils and the behavior of those pupils in the classroom, observed independently by ‘naive’ observers. Clearly, teacher judgments are very important and often play a decisive role in children's school careers. Higher levels of agreement and — in particular — accuracy are therefore needed in teachers' judgments. This study implies that specific elaborations of the central constructs of the critical realistic approach to personality judgment agreement and accuracy can be useful in describing and assessing judgments made by individual teachers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2001-01-01

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