The Independent is reporting research from the United States that suggests students who are taught by an “other-race” teacher are significantly more likely to be absent from class and suspended when compared with students who are assigned a same-race teacher.
Authored by Stephen B. Holt and Seth Gershenson of the American University in Washington, D.C., the paper – titled The Impact of Teacher Demographic Representation on Student Attendance and Suspensions – also claims these effects are slightly larger for male students, particularly for pupils of colour.
Using student data from kindergarten through to fifth grade in North Carolina’s public schools from 2006 to 2010, the study sought to “test the hypothesis that public behaviour responds to demographic representation” among teachers.
The main results indicated how students with “racially mismatched” teachers experienced a 20 per cent increase in suspensions, driven primarily by the response of non-white male students to white classroom teachers.
Further to this, the paper added: “Students with racially mismatched teachers experienced a 15 per cent increase in the likelihood of being suspended at least once during the academic year. These sizable effects underscore the likelihood that some combination of passive and active representation at the classroom level affects socially, academically, and developmentally important student outcomes.”…
Read or download the research in full:
Clearly this is US research and may not be relevant to the situation in the UK, but what do you make of the apparent findings?
Please give us your thoughts and feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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