Ratings in Black and White: Does racial symmetry or asymmetry influence teacher assessment of a pupil's work habits?

Yoshimitsu Takei, Roger Shouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Racial asymmetry, the circumstance of having a teacher's race differ from that of his or her student's race, is often considered important because most Black students are taught by White teachers. This paper analyzes data from a nationally representative sample of students and teachers to ascertain the extent to which Black and White teachers differ in their evaluations of the work habits of their Black pupils. Unlike most other investigations on this topic, we explored the likelihood that subject matter and school demographics influence teacher-student relationships beyond the more visible factors of racial symmetry or asymmetry. Our analyses of NELS: 88 data using this framework reveal an inconsistent racial effect on teachers' evaluations of Black students. The ratings of African American pupils by both Black and White teachers seem to be influenced by both the academic subject they teach and the demographic characteristic of the school. We discuss these findings and suggest avenues for further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-387
Number of pages21
JournalSocial Psychology of Education
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science

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