Poorer, lower quality school grades: Children who weigh more than normal values should expect this. This is the result of a study conducted by Mona Dayan of Worms University and Maurice Treventi of the University of Trento in Italy, a former visiting scientist at the Berlin Center for Social Sciences. They also show on the basis of school grades in German and Mathematics, Educators rate overweight children the worst Of children of normal weight or who are underweight.
The data came from about 3,700 seventh graders in German grammar schools who participated in National Education Commissions Were combined. In order to rule out that overweight people got worse scores, their performance on German and math tests was recorded as well as time spent on homework. Other possible influences were also examined: the educational level, socioeconomic status of the parents, the mother tongue of the children and their conscience and attitude towards learning.
Even if children did not disagree on these points, school grades were better on average with people of normal weight. Overweight and obese boys are particularly vulnerable to the poor: in Germany, they were 11 percentage points more likely to have poor grades (four or worse). There was one at 4 percentage points, and two at 13 percentage points less often. In mathematics, the penalty was smaller – the range of self-scores is lower in mathematics than in articles, the two social researchers explain. For girls, body measurements hardly played a role: “Girls are not punished to a low degree because of being overweight or obese.”
Diane and Treventi explain the drawback of overweight boys in the interplay of stereotypes: that boys are considered less diligent and overweight boys are less disciplined. In the case of overweight girls, on the other hand, stereotypes can fade, especially in the German language, where they are given an advantage. However, the two social researchers do not want to rule out that the observed differences in scores can be traced back to behaviors that were not recorded in the study. But it could not be due to the deviation of the extra weight from the norm, since the lack of weight is not reflected in the classification.
Diane and Treventi concluded that the effect was significant. It was already known from ancient studies that overweight people get worse scores than their normal-weight peers, but without being able to control their competence. An American team actually succeeded in doing this in an experiment: in it, the teachers rated a girl’s article as worse if the accompanying picture was manipulated in such a way that the girl looked overweight. In American studies it gets mostly Girls in an English class report negative weight gain.
In Germany, one in three obese children go to high school, but nearly two out of three children are of normal weight, the authors report. Discrimination can contribute to the awarding of marks to this. Dian and Triventi recommend setting criteria for how children can demonstrate that they have met an educational goal in order to measure their performance against it. Scoring bias can also be reduced if there are no names on the tests. Such measures can help other minorities who face discrimination. A fair grade means that children get similar grades with the same aptitude, attitude, and learning behavior.
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