Study shows race, gender affect teachers’ perceptions of students’ ability

In this Yale News report on emerging research, authors found “that a child’s approach to learning — whether they pay attention, stay organized, follow rules, work independently, etc. — can shape how teachers perceive their academic ability. [The] study suggests that these characteristics, called non-cognitive skills, influence teachers’ evaluation of students’ academic aptitude differently depending on a child’s race, ethnicity, and gender”.  For teachers seeking to develop culturally responsive classroom practices, understanding how perceptions of types of behaviors, ways of talking and the prevalence of disparate discipline practices can negatively impact how students are academically evaluated is a critical first step.  Use this article as a discussion starter to explore the questions:  a) What behaviors are we privileging in the classroom? b) What unexplored assumptions and biases might teachers be acting on that is underlying this inequitable assessment of children? c) How might you monitor and explore your own assumptions about the link between perceived behavior and academic capacity?

Resource by Mike Cummings, February 2020 Yale News

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