The article by Ratcliff et al. (2016) was aimed at discussing the issue of the achievement gap in terms of the problem’s causes and solutions as well as teachers’ perceptions. The researchers conducted a survey of 874 educators that included questions regarding the achievement gap, such as its importance, causes, solutions, expectations of performance, and the overall impact on students in educational settings. The implications of the achievement gap were also explored in relation to in-service and pre-service training programs, which is essential for the understanding of how differences in students’ achievement can influence the teaching process in general.
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The study aligns with the research conducted by McKown and Weinstein (2008) that also examined the role of the classroom context and the achievement gap in the learning process at educational facilities of different specializations. The scholars found that high-bias classrooms exhibited a connection between increased teacher expectancy and the ethnic achievement gap of students, which points to the pressing problem of some settings being less accepting of students from diverse backgrounds.
In their study, Ratcliff et al. (2016) found that the achievement gap was the most significant issue that teachers indicated in the survey. The causes of the gap include ineffective parenting techniques, disruptive behaviors, the lack of student motivation, as well as low-income levels. According to teachers, the achievement gap can be eliminated with the help of reducing class sizes, implementing after-school tutoring and introducing summer school programs, and using the method of assessment instead of standardizes tests. Overall, the implications of the study for the teaching practice are vast and point to the need for better class management and the evaluation of student achievement.
McKown, C., & Weinstein, R. (2008). Teacher expectations, classroom context, and the achievement gap. Journal of School Psychology, 46, 235-261.
Ratcliff, N., Costner, R., Carroll, K., Jones, C., Sheehan, H., & Hunt, G. (2016). Causes of and solutions to the achievement gap: Teachers’ perceptions. Teacher Educators’ Journal, 9, 97-111.