Measuring Teachers’ Expectations towards Students with Migrant Parents

Elena Adumitroaie, Ion Dafinoiu


Teachers have formed expectations regarding the future academic performances of their students ever since the first days of school. These expectations shape a teacher’s and students’ behaviours and mark the level of acquisition of the students. A special situation generating firm and stable expectations is the migration of parents to a better paid job. In this context, the goal of this study was to investigate how teachers’ expectations towards their students left behind differ. 281 teaching professionals from nine schools from Romania participated in this research. Five schools were situated in the rural environment and four in the urban environment. In all schools, there were a considerable number of children left behind by migrant parents. We designed an ambiguous scenario describing in short the story of a student who is preparing to be admitted to high school. For half of the teachers, the scenario did not contain any reference to the student’s family and for the other half it was mentioned that student’s parents left abroad to work. Starting from this scenario we evaluated teachers’ expectations regarding the future school performances of the student, the risks of abandoning school, to skip classes the affective disposition and the risk to develop deviant behaviours. The results showed that teachers have lower expectations regarding the possible school performances of the student whose parents have temporarily emigrated for work; this student is perceived as having a higher risk to leave school, skip classes, develop deviant behaviours and to have a negative mood.

children left behind, academic performance, school dropout, migration

Elena Adumitroaie – Al. I. Cuza University, Iaşi, Romania, Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences E-mail:

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