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.
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February 11, 2020