Research reveals teachers’ biases when rating first-graders’ academic skills based on learning behavior

A recent study, co-authored by a University of Notre Dame professor, shows how educators’ racial and gender biases affect their assessments of students’ academic skills based on noncognitive skills, which include behavior, class participation, self-discipline and interpersonal skills.

Using a national dataset, Calvin Zimmermann, assistant professor of sociology at Notre Dame and Grace Kao, Yale University IBM professor of sociology, examined how first-grade teachers’ perceptions of students’ approach to learning can affect how they rate those students’ academic skills.

The results of the study, published in January in the Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, suggest that racial and gender biases regarding students’ noncognitive skills — whether they meet or defy teacher expectations — affect teachers’ overall perception of students’ academic abilities, a previously overlooked area of consideration.  

Read more here.

February 11, 2020

Health and SocietyAfrican AmericanCalvin ZimmermanRaceGenderBA of NDCollege of Arts and LettersEducationResearchSociology