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A new study released by Stanford University has revealed that teachers of all races are more harsh on black children due to overbearing stereotypes.

According to Huffington Post, the study performed by 57 female teachers showed the educators kept the standards of proper behavior and responsibility first when it came to misbehaving children.

In the first experiment, the teachers were given the report of students who misbehaved in class twice. Teachers were told to keep the cause and effect of the children’s actions in mind when it came to the punishment.

More teachers were added to the experiment, preferably men and people of other races.

The students were identified with either stereotypically black names (Darnell or Deshawn) or white ones (Greg or Jake). After reviewing each infraction, the researchers asked:

  • How severe was the student’s misbehavior?

  • To what extent is the student hindering you from maintaining order in your class?

  • How irritated do you feel by the student?

  • How severely should the student be disciplined?

  • Would you call the student a troublemaker?

In the end, the students named Darnell and Deshawn were labeled troublemakers and received the most punishment. As a collective, the group of teachers claimed the black students will more than likely have a pattern of starting problems in the classroom.

There was one more result that some might consider surprising: The two samples were racially diverse — and yet the researchers did not find significant differences among their responses. Black teachers could punish black students just as disproportionately as white ones.

Jason Okonofua, a Ph.D. student at Stanford explained the results of the study didn’t prove the teachers to be racist, but showed that stereotypes can be damaging to both the teacher and student.

“I think that it attests to the pervasiveness of stereotype effects,” said lead author Jason Okonofua, a Ph.D. student at Stanford, in an email. “Research has demonstrated that exposure to media influences the stereotypical associations we all make in our daily lives. Thus, all teachers, regardless of race, are more likely to think a black child, as compared to a white child, is a troublemaker.”

There was also no bias when it came to African-American teachers towards students who were of color, making the experiments’ finding more solid.

“I think this point is also driven home with our measure of explicit racial bias,” added Okonofua. “Explicit bias did not predict our findings, and our effects persisted while controlling for it.”

Okonofua is working with other Stanford researchers at five middle schools to help teachers differentiate students’ characteristics from stereotypes. They also plan to help teachers not see so much in black and white and more about learning about growing as an educator of a rapidly growing, diverse country.

SOURCE: Huffington Post | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty 


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Study Reveals Teachers Of All Races Are Likely To Give Harsh Punishments To Black Students  was originally published on