Speed Reads

role models

This study just found that students do better in classrooms where a teacher's race matches their own

A new study has found that it's easier to look up to someone if they look like you. That was the conclusion from a survey of over 80,000 public school students across six states, which asked students in grades four through eight to evaluate their teachers.

Researchers evaluated how black, white, and Hispanic students in the same classroom perceived their teachers, finding that race plays a significant factor in teacher-student relationships. Students were more likely to care about schoolwork and displayed an interest in higher education if the teacher's race matched their own. Students with teachers whose race did not match their own exhibited opposite characteristics, which researchers attributed to the idea that students had a more difficult time seeing a teacher of a different race as a role model.

The study underlines disproportionate representation in classrooms. Recent statistics show that people of color make up only 18 percent of all teachers in the U.S. Co-authors of the study point to diversifying teaching staff as a way to narrow the achievement gap for students of color.