Students of All Races Prefer Learning From Teachers Who Aren’t White

Students of all races, including whites, have more favorable perceptions of Black and Latino than white teachers, a study has found.

New York University researchers Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng and Peter Halpin looked at a group of 1,680 teachers between grades six and nine from over 300 schools in the United States. Over 50,000 students responded to 30-question surveys.

Cherng and Halpin figured consistent evidence, seeing Latino teachers as more positively perceived across seven outcome measures in the study.

Black teachers, on the other hand, were perceived to hold students to high academic standards, support efforts, help organize content, explain concepts clearly and provide useful feedback more than their white counterparts.

Cherng, who is of Chinese descent, previously taught in a San Francisco middle school with an African-American population of 85%. Interestingly, the strongest positive relationship in their study was between Asian-American students and black teachers.

Cherng told NPR:

“I thought student awareness of the racial hierarchy would influence the results.”

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