As per a study conducted by NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, English and Maths teacher tend to underestimate the academic abilities of students based on their color. This has the potential to impact the grades of the students as it ends up destroying their confidence.
This study was published in Social Science Research, an online journal and it emphasizes on how teachers are known to be bias and their behavior ends up impacting the performance of students adversely.
The kind of belief which teachers have in their students is crucial. It is linked to the kind of faith students have in their own abilities. This is why when teachers tend to question a student’s ability based on the color and race they belong to, it has the power to cripple their confidence in ways more than one.
Assistant professor of international education at NYU Steinhardt and author of the study, Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng believe that the way a teacher interacts with the student and the kind of confidence he shows in his/her abilities can be evident from their body language. The way the teacher interacts and even the expectations bars, the assignments allotted; they all play a very crucial role. The kind of aspirations which the students would build depends largely on all these factors too.
Based on a large sample, it was seen that it was mostly Maths and English teachers who were much more likely to be biased with their students on the basis of color and race. These teachers are most likely to believe that white students would have an upper hand to students with a color background. A class composing of black students had the worst result. As more than twice the percentage of Maths and English teachers reported that the class was too difficult to teach. This was based more on the stereotype and pre-judgment of the teacher than the actual results of the students.
“Based on my analysis, teachers underestimating their students’ abilities actually cause students to have lower academic expectations of them, meaning that they expected they would complete less school. This was particularly harmful among Black students,” Cherng said.
Cherng believes that by addressing the biasness issue, a lot of students could come up with better academic performances and improved confidence levels.