Study Finds That School Teachers Hold Racial Biases Similar to the General Population

A new report from the American Educational Research Association finds that teachers – just like the rest of the U.S. population – continue to hold explicit and implicit racial biases.

In a series of tests, researchers evaluated the racial biases of a huge group of more than 1.5 million Americans. Among this large group were nearly 69,000 teachers. The results showed that teachers were only slightly less likely to show racial bias than the population as a whole.

The authors explained that “we have found that teachers’ bias levels are quite similar to those of the larger population. These findings challenge the notion that teachers might be uniquely equipped to instill positive racial attitudes in children or bring about racial justice, instead indicating that teachers need just as much support in contending with their biases as the population at large.”

The authors recommend that “practitioners and policymakers should focus on addressing these biases to support schools in the challenges of equitably serving their diverse students.”

The full report, “Teachers Are People Too: Examining the Racial Bias of Teachers Compared to Other American Adults,” was published in the journal Educational Researcher. It may be accessed here.

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