Favoritism In Schools

Education News | Mar-27-2022

Favoritism In Schools

It would be amazing if every child started school with equal rights and the same chances for education and personal growth. But sadly, discrimination happens in many places, including schools, making things unfair. Special treatment of some students, also known as favoritism, can happen in various ways. This favoritism in schools can have negative effects on students, teachers, schools, and even society as a whole.

Favoritism is a huge problem in schools today. Discrimination occurs between a teacher’s favorite child and an ordinary pupil. It isn’t bound to academics but also on personal levels. If a proper definition could be given to this so it shall be, “The process in which two different people differing in some aspects and opinions are treated differently, and favoritism jumps in, furthermore creating partiality towards one.” It doesn’t only hurt the second person but also creates a sense of hatred and leads to a negative impact for the teacher within them. This favoritism can vary from teacher to teacher in a school atmosphere. The educator might be partial to one in terms of grades, personal behavior, opportunities, or even outside the classroom in terms of sports.

According to a survey done based on 'Educators’ favoritism evidence based on the opinion of pupils, it came out that a majority of students feel discriminated against or have a sense of alienation towards the teachers due to their partial nature. This at times allows the students to feel demotivated, discouraged, or underconfident in front of those students who have this advantage. It was found that students give preference to those teachers who are quite close to them personally. Often additional marks in examinations and assignments are given to fast or quick learners. furthermore, educators also give preference to those learners who hold parallel ideologies with them. In brief, favoritism is an unfair practice held in schools that leads and affects a student’s failure or success

This article aims at describing the concept of favouritism in schools regarding the ways, causes, and advantages and disadvantages.

What Is Favoritism In Schools?

The favoritism in schools comes in many forms but can be simply defined as a situation where teachers, administrators or any other school staff individuals give special attention to some students for reasons that may not have any bearing with the students’ behavior or learning capability.

These characteristics could also be dependent on student’s financial status, physical appearance, and family background or even the main discriminator’s assumptions.

School favouritism frequently manifests as:

1. Grading bias: Even when it comes to grading, there are moments where some students will be given worse or better grades than others intentionally or unintentionally.

2. Classroom Engagement: The students who are appreciated frequently are encouraged to participate more often or are offered more opportunities to contribute during class discussions and activities.

3. Disciplinary procedures: Some students get reprimanded or are given other penalties that are not as severe; some students are penalized severely.

4. Extracurricular Opportunities: Some of the students may be preferred first in sports teams, clubs, or other co-curricular activities.

5. Teacher-Student Relations: Specific teachers may end up developing personal relationships with certain learners and this may create the impression of bias in the classroom or even exist as real bias.

How Is Favoritism in Schools Promoted?

Favoritism in schools sometimes occurs unconsciously, based on biases to which the teacher is not aware; at other times, prejudice is actively promoted or at least tolerated by the school. Here are a few ways that schools could support an environment that fosters bias:

Here are a few ways that schools could support an environment that fosters bias:

1. Absence of Standardised Policies: When the rules for grading, discipline, and other school policies are not clear and consistent, there is a risk that teachers and school leaders might act unfairly.

2. Inadequate Training: If teachers themselves remain unaware of problems such as cultural sensitivity or bias, or fail to undergo special training that would help them identify incidents of favouritism at school. They will not be able to explain why favouritism is wrong.

3. Parental Influence: In some cases, there is favoritism because powerful parents or contributors can influence teachers to show extra attention to their children.

4. Legacy Admissions: Some of the colleges that offer higher education, may give preference to those candidates who have family members attending that particular school, but again this is a kind of prejudice.

5. Lack of Accountability: The favouritism can go on smoothly in a school or district if there are no remedies put in place to identify and handle the cases of favouritism.

Benefits of School Favouritism

Whereas favoritism in schools is considered a negative thing, there may be advantages in this case according to them. A few items to consider are as follows:

1. Motivation and Incentive: It is plausible that students study harder and aim for academic or behavioral enhancement if they are assured of being rewarded with some form of attention from teacher or authority figures.

2. Recognising Exceptional Talent: There are situations where favoritism can be used in the positive sense, to give extra attention or resources in schools to its students with special abilities and talents.

3. Building Relationships: In this case, we may witness a situation when tight-knit relationships make a teacher act in a preferential manner. Sometimes, but such close bonded ties can make the learning process more appealing and stimulating for particular students.

The Dangers of Favouritism in School

The drawbacks of favouritism in schools are almost proven, the pros are negligible, and therefore, favouritism should be eliminated. Several of the key disadvantages are listed below:

1. Undermines Fairness and Equal Opportunity: Favouritism harmfully affected students because it goes against the goals of fairness and equal opportunities that educational institutions should promote.

2. Low Motivation and Self-Esteem: Students that are disregarded might develop low motivation and low self-esteem that reflects undesirable physical, mental and social health as well as poor academic performance.

3. Erosion of Trust and Respect: Bias can lead students to demoralise behaviour. They may distrust their tutors, institutions and faculties and therefore the general system of learning.

4. Sustaining Biases and Discrimination: Favouritism is brought about by factors remained deeply hidden in the subconscious level and has the effect of either encouraging prejudicial actions due to gender, race, color, or low-income earners.

5. Discouragement of Meritocracy: Students who have been working hard and expecting their hard work and performance to be appreciated by their employers or by their school may be demotivated by meritocracy. They might feel demotivated, especially if they find themselves working in an environment where favouritism is the order of the day.

6. Legal and Ethical Implications: Some of the consequences of favouritism in schools may pose legal implications to administrators and teachers, ethical misconduct.

How to Combat Favouritism in Schools?
There are the major negative effects of favoritism that schools must actively address and prevent. Among the tactics available are:

1. All-Inclusive Policy Development: It is therefore important for schools to come up with standard guidelines concerning discipline in organization extra-curricular activities, punishment, grading system and other areas where prejudice may surface.

2. Training and Professional Development: Seminars and workshops on some pertinent concerns such as culture, racism, and equality can assist all the stakeholders—the staff, managers, and teachers—on the topic of favoritism and how to address it. These sessions can help them learn how to counter such treatment which makes the school a compassionate environment for everyone.

3. Accountability and Monitoring systems: Creating appropriate measures to monitor and report instances of favouritism and clear penalties for those who engage in such practices can both discourage violations and promote responsibility.

4. Promoting Open Communication: When organizations ensure that staff, parents, and students return to school and work and free to report instances of perceived unfair favoritism before complications set in, then complications will be easily averted.

5. Promoting Diversity and Inclusion: By ensuring all students are welcomed and accepted in your classroom, you would minimize chances of prejudices which may be based on race, ethnicity or seenconomic standing.

6. Hold Moral Responsibility: Principals and other school managers should also practice what they preach and actively work towards eradicating biases for fair treatment of the school’s students.

Should there be favoritism at school?

First, the problem of favouritism should not arise in learning institutions. Favouritism is unfair, unequal, and reduces children’s chances to learn and grow to the maximum, contrary to the fair treatment philosophy. Familiarity in educational situations should be avoided for the following primary reasons:

Favouritism is a major blow to meritocracy, the doctrine that states that students should be promoted and rewarded according to the manner in which they perform, not because of special preferences that have nothing to do with their conduct or achievements.

Prejudice at the workplace, which mostly results from favouritism, will further be used to support discrimination on factors like gender, ‘economic power, race or even affiliation. This is exactly the opposite of making a classroom and arena that can be considered free and open to all.

Those who get improper results may suffer from low self-esteem, lack of motivation, and worthlessness that have a vast negative effect on their general well-being and performance.

Bias hinders relationships of trust between the students and teachers and/or administrators, which erodes the institutional norms of the educational system.

Extreme cases of unfair treatment in schools may lead to dismissal or failures, or worse, legal problems for the involved teachers or principals.

The basic principles of school management should not be appeasement or showing preferences to some people, but equity, justice, and merit. This can be helped by clear and standard rules, on-going staff and teacher education, well-defined administrator and manager accountability structures, and organisational culture that embraces impartiality, diversity, and inclusion.

These individual rights which must be respected include the rights that all children or students regardless of disability, gender, race, or background. Students should get the best education and the chance to succeed in life.

Instead,the practice of favoritism actually disrupts the principle of attaining fairness within the educational process in regard to the idea of equal education for all.

Final Words

Favouritism in School is a rather intricate phenomenon that can put quite severe effects on the teachers, learners and the education process in general. While there is an argument concerning the potential merits where favouritism is practiced, it is arguable that the demerits are always worse off compared to the merits.

These are general ways of handling and reducing failures in schools, some of which include having different policies, constant training, gaining accountability, and having a diverse and diverse environment. The primary goal for any educational institution should be to foster justice and equity in education to provide equal chance for success for all.


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