In her article, Miller states, based on research, the gender and race of teachers matter especially to nonwhite students when it comes to learning. However, the teacher work force is predominantly white and female. She adds that studies show that teacher diversity can make a difference in a student’s performance and interest in school like when middle school black boys had a black teacher, they tend not to drop out when they reach high school, and more likely attend to college. She discloses that researchers say that students tend to be inspired by role models they can relate to. There is a mutual cultural connection. But teachers unconsciously influence and treat students of a different color differently based on their own backgrounds and stereotypes, which scientists called implicit bias. Furthermore, there is a teacher’s bias that is happening where black teachers have higher expectations for black students and vice versa. Teachers should know their students’ value and the sense of belongingness in the classroom. The optimistic approach given by white teachers towards white students hurts and deprives the black students of equal attention and motivation. However, these expectations can be met from teachers of the same color. The cultural biases and stereotypes by white teachers have a long term effect on the stigmatized black students. It would make a big difference in the training and hiring of more racially diverse teachers. She tells that study also suggests that in order to retain black teachers who have poor resources and are at risk of burning out from their job is by increasing their pay to retain teacher diversity in school. She also continues that studies show that after training, teachers are better able to value their students’ perspectives, view misbehavior as a learning opportunity, inform them of their stereotypes, and provide online tutorials to students. The positive effects were an increase in grades and decrease in suspension rates for black students.
1. How does teacher diversity affect student learning?
2. What ways can we increase student learning in such a non-diversified school setting?
Miller, Claire Cain. Does Teacher Diversity Matter in Student Learning? The New York Times. 10 Sep 2018, pp. 1-3. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/10/upshot/teacher-diversity-effect-students-learning.html