Black Students’ Performance: From Non-black Teachers’ Eyes

While black students continue grappling for acceptance in the inclusive academic milieu, the revelations of a new study are not going to go down well with the black students. Given below are the details.

Now, as per a recent study, race actually goes on to play a major role in determining how teachers expect their students to perform academically. The results, very unfortunately, have brought these teachers’ bias under the radar. When both the black and non-black teachers were asked to predict the academic performance of the black students, the study found that a white teacher was 30 percent less likely to believe that the particular student will actually graduate from a four year college. Even worse- the teacher was 40 per cent less likely to believe that the black student would pass out his high school.

The co-author of the study, Nicholas Papageorge, went on to claim that the black and white teachers have systematically gone on to differ on their opinions regarding the potential of black students. Papageorge, a Johns Hopkins economist went on to opine that if a teacher consistently believes that his students will not be able to deliver then he/she might be communicating the same to the student as well – and that if a teacher ends up telling his students that “they’re not smart” it will go on to weigh down heavily on the student, which might as well go on to affect his performance.

In all fairness, Papageorge’s opinions cannot be repudiated since there are innumerable cases where the performance of student had to suffer simply because of low self-esteem or dented confidence. The results of the study will be published in Economics of Education Review. The data has been procured from the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002. The statistics and research arm of the US Education Department was in charge of conducting this research. In the study, the Maths and reading teachers of sophomores of the high school were questioned regarding the academic potential of all their students in school.

The study, needless to say, has once again reinforced the fact that race does play a leading role in how teachers choose to see their students. How is it going to shape the academic future of the black students? Questions still linger. Oh! Did we tell you that black students taught by white teachers are less likely to be a part of a gifted program than is the case when black students are taught by black teachers?

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