By Alivia Wenze, Senior
Over the last thirty years, there has been a growth in teacher diversity. In today’s society, race and gender played a vital role in a person’s life. Recently, it has been proven that students benefit more from a teacher who is of the same race and gender.
In most schools, teachers primarily are white women. According to the National Center for Education Statistics in the 2015-2016 school year, 77 percent of teachers are women, and 80 percent are white.
Dr. Brian Kisida has conducted research focusing on identifying effective educational options. Dr. Kisida reaffirms students tend to benefit from teachers that look like them that can be role models to them. Teachers have a more positive effect on students that are of the same gender and race. Students that have a teacher that look like them tend to perform better than students who do not academically.
Additionally, there is a gap in student achievement because of gender and race. Claire Cain Miller is a Correspondent for the New York Times she has a master’s degree in Journalism from the University of California. Cain Miller claims, “girls perform boys, and white students outperform those who are black and Hispanic.” Minority students have a more difficult time in the classroom when they have a teacher that is different from them. Minority students have to deal with poverty and racism, and having a teacher that looks like them can impact their lives in a significant way.
Seth Gershenson has a Ph.D. in Economics, and he focuses on education policy. According to Gershenson research has suggested that black children who have a black teacher during the grades 3-5 are less likely to drop out of high-school. Students during their academic career should at least once have a teacher that looks like them. It is crucial that students have a diverse and well-rounded education. The Yale Center for Teaching and Learning is a program at the University that promotes an engaging curriculum for students. The Yale Center for Teaching and Learning confirmed teachers are unaware of their implicit biases towards their students. Implicit bias is unconscious reactions that affect human behavior and understanding. Teachers have unconsciously internalized stereotypes of different ethnic groups. The solution to this gap in student achievement base on race and gender is to teach teachers about the cultural biases and stereotypes. It will result in a fair learning environment for students, which is the main idea.