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New USC research into how teachers evaluate the mathematical ability of students suggests that white teachers and teachers of color alike have biases that favor white and male students.
The researchers asked two questions: First, when reviewing the work of fictitious students, do teachers' ratings of students' abilities differ depending on the gender or race/ethnicity of students' names? And second, do teachers' own race, gender and educational backgrounds predict their implicit biases?
Study - December - Edition - Educational - Researcher
The study, published in the December 2019 edition of Educational Researcher, found that teachers evaluated students' performance equally along racial and gender lines but assumed that girls—and especially girls of color—had lower math abilities than boys and white boys. According to their findings, the lowest-rated group was always females of color.
"Our study suggests that even teachers affected by harmful stereotypes are not free of bias," said lead author Yasemin Copur-Gencturk, assistant professor of education at the USC Rossier School of Education. "The findings suggest that implicit stereotypical messages people may have received throughout their lives could lead them to internalize these messages."
Study - Researchers - Math - Problems - Decade
To conduct the study, the researchers selected math problems from across a decade of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests and surveyed middle school students for answers that included both the solution to the problem and the reasoning for that solution. Those answers were then assigned randomized combinations of student names associated with black, Hispanic and white girls and boys. All participating teachers then rated the same student work.
The results indicated that teachers evaluated the correctness of students' solutions evenly, regardless of a student's assigned gender or race/ethnicity. However, analysis of teachers' ratings of students' mathematical abilities—based on each student's stated reasoning—revealed biases for partially correct and incorrect responses.
Study - Names - Teachers - Teachers - Color—than
The study found that white-sounding names were rated significantly higher—both by white teachers and by teachers of color—than those of...
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