Should we care about teacher diversity? Student perceptions of teachers of the same race

Brown, B.M and Ritter, G. (2017) Should we care about teacher diversity? Student perceptions of teachers of the same race. In: ICERI2017: The 10th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 16 - 18 November 2017, Barceló Renacimiento Hotel, Seville, Spain.

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As student diversity increases in many schools across the globe, teacher diversity may not be keeping pace with the ever changing student population. Along with this comes an increasing number of issues and queries around race and education. The ideas surrounding how race impacts the education of students have been shrouded in controversy given the sensitive nature of the topic and its troubled past in some countries. Countries across the world struggle to recruit a teacher workforce that matches that of the student population especially in pockets where there are a larger number of minorities students. Many education programs, policies, and interventions more recently have been reasserting the ways that addressing issues with race in schools can be a positive change, specifically seeking to diversify teacher recruitment and match teachers or mentors with groups of students based on race to serve as built- in role models. Indeed, our increased awareness of teacher recruitment practices and the need for a more diverse teaching force is based on some of those assumptions that student/teacher race matching is and can be a positive thing. This pilot study seeks to examine these assumptions by looking at how race may actually affect teacher student relationships. This study focuses on students and teachers in a low-income area of the United States to assess student perceptions of their teachers on several key attributes of quality teaching. The aim of the study is to see if classrooms of students with similar races to that of their teacher perceive their teachers differently. More directly, do students share more favorable perceptions of their teachers if they are of the same racial background? This study finds that students perceive that teachers of the same race are more effective and have more positive relationships with them. This finding is consistent for both white and black teachers. The paper concludes with a call for more research and a continued push to diversity the teacher workforce worldwide.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Keywords: Education, Race, Diversity, Student Perceptions, Teacher Effectiveness, Teacher Relationships
Divisions: School of Education
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2017 10:31
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:47
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