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A number of parents want teachers who make their children happy, perhaps even over those teachers who emphasize academic achievement.

That’s the conclusion reached by researchers at the University of Michigan as described in this article by Science Daily.

The researchers studied 300 parents in a mid-sized district in western United States and found numerous instances of requests for teachers with with high satisfaction ratings over teachers with strong achievement ratings.

But the researchers also said families in higher poverty schools favored schools with strong student achievement scores. The reverse was true for families in wealthier schools. One possible explanation — because resources are typically limited in low-income school environments, parents may seek teachers skilled at improving achievement, even if it means sacrificing satisfaction. With resources abundant in wealthier environments, researchers believe parents don’t feel as compelled to find high-achieving teachers and are more interested in finding teachers who help their children enjoy school and learning.

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