Teachers Are People Too: Examining the Racial Bias of Teachers Compared to Other American Adults

Published Online in:
Educational Researcher
April 14, 2020

Jordan G. StarckPrinceton University
Travis RiddlePrinceton University
Stacey Sinclair, Princeton University
Natasha WarikooTufts University

Schools are heralded by some as unique sites for promoting racial equity. Central to this characterization is the presumption that teachers embrace racial equity and teaching about this topic. In contrast, others have documented the ongoing role of teachers in perpetuating racial inequality in schools. In this article, we employ data from two national data sets to investigate teachers’ explicit and implicit racial bias, comparing them to adults with similar characteristics. We find that both teachers and nonteachers hold pro-White explicit and implicit racial biases. Furthermore, differences between teachers and nonteachers were negligible or insignificant. The findings suggest that if schools are to effectively promote racial equity, teachers should be provided with training to either shift or mitigate the effects of their own racial biases.

Read the full open-access article online here

Read the press release: "Research Finds Teachers Just as Likely to Have Racial Bias as Non-Teachers.