White teachers significantly more likely to doubt the ability of black students

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Researchers of a new study have found that white teachers have significantly less faith in their black students’ academic success when compared with black teachers, the Independent has reported.

The study, published in the journal, Economics of Education Review, analysed data from an ongoing 2002 education study in the US which followed 8,400 tenth-grade public school pupils. The survey asked two different teachers - who each taught a particular student in either maths or reading - to predict how far that one student would go in school.

Concerning white students, the ratings from both teachers were revealed to be the same. However, when it came to black pupils - boys in particular - the results were startlingly different: white teachers had much lower expectations than black teachers for how far the black students would go in school.

The overall conclusion from the study suggests that these low expectations could affect the performance of students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds who lack access to role models.

Other key findings from the study showed how white and other non-black teachers were 12 per cent more likely than black teachers to predict black students wouldn’t finish high school, while non-black teachers were five per cent more likely to predict their black boy pupils wouldn’t graduate high school than their black girls.

While white male teachers were between ten to 20 per cent more likely to have low expectations for black female students, maths teachers were significantly more likely to have low expectations for female students.

Every Child Journal
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