Beyond ethnic diversity: the role of teacher care for interethnic relations

  • Drawing on the role of teachers for peer ecologies, we investigated whether students favored ethnically homogenous over ethnically diverse relationships, depending on classroom diversity and perceived teacher care. We specifically studied students’ intra- and interethnic relationships in classrooms with different ethnic compositions, accounting for homogeneous subgroups forming on the basis of ethnicity and gender diversity (i.e., ethnic-demographic faultlines). Based on multilevel social network analyses of dyadic networks between 1299 early adolescents in 70 German fourth grade classrooms, the results indicated strong ethnic homophily, particularly driven by German students who favored ethnically homogenous dyads over mixed dyads. As anticipated, the results showed that there was more in-group bias if perceived teacher care was low rather than high. Moreover, stronger faultlines were associated with stronger in-group bias; however, this relation was moderated by teacher care: If students perceived high teacher care, they showed a higher preference for mixed-ethnic dyads, even in classrooms with strong faultlines. These findings highlight the central role of teachers as agents of positive diversity management and the need to consider contextual classroom factors other than ethnic diversity when investigating intergroup relations in schools.

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Author:Jeanine GrütterORCiDGND, Bertolt MeyerORCiDGND, Michel PhilippGND, Sebastian StegmannORCiDGND, Rolf van DickORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in education
Publisher:Frontiers Media
Place of publication:Lausanne
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2021/01/20
Date of first Publication:2021/01/20
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/01/21
Tag:Faultlines; Interethnic Relations; Peer ecology; dyadic social networks; ethnic diversity; teacher care
Issue:Art. 586709
Page Number:19
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften / Psychologie
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 30 Sozialwissenschaften, Soziologie / 300 Sozialwissenschaften
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0