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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

New study shines light on the racial ‘anger bias’ of educators | ThinkProgress

"New study shines light on the racial ‘anger bias’ of educators" notes Sam Fulwood, columnist for ThinkProgress.
Prospective teachers are more likely to perceive the faces of black adults as being angry compared to the faces of white adults, a new study finds.
Photo: ThinkProgress

Stories about black school children being more harshly treated or punished than white children has become an old and disturbing media staple, one that waxes and wanes with the frequency of its retelling, frequently featuring lurid and shocking details. But despite the popularity of this news trope, most reported accounts typically fail to offer much in the way of credible justification for why teachers might behave in such a racially-prejudiced way toward their students.

Now, in an effort to make sense of the incomprehensible, a recent study conducted by team of education researchers at several major U.S. universities offers an illuminating theory: many teachers harbor implicit biases against the black faces of their students.

According to a preliminary study published earlier this month in the journal Contemporary Education Psychology, prospective teachers are more likely to perceive the faces of black adults as being angry compared to the faces of white adults, even in instances where neither group is emotionally expressive. Similarly, the researchers found that the teachers-in-training viewed the behavior of black children as more hostile than similar behavior of white children.  

This study adds to the scholarly heft of previous scholarly work, as well as countless anecdotes which suggest that white teachers and administrators discipline black students more harshly than white students. While such findings — and media accounts they generate — are disturbing to the point of alarm, they nevertheless contain a logic that is hard to deny. What’s more, these new findings help to explain> the persistence of discrimination that follows black children> into adulthood, as their lives move from classrooms to workplaces and other realities of American society...

Amy Halberstadt, a psychology professor at North Carolina State University and lead author of the Contemporary Education Psychology paper on the study, said in an interview with Science Daily that it’s well known black students are more likely to be suspended, expelled and disciplined than white students due to a disconnect between white teachers and black students.
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Source: ThinkProgress