The Case For Establishing A Balance Between Teacher Race And Ethnicity And Student Race / Ethnicity

The Case For Establishing A Balance Between Teacher Race And Ethnicity And Student Race / Ethnicity

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Ethnic Matching
The case for establishing a balance between teacher race/ethnicity and student race/ethnicity has been made by several notable authors of literature (Dee, 2004; Eddy & Easton-Brooks, 2011; Gay, 2000; Ogbu, 2003). This balance may be struck by the institution of a system of ethnic matching which pairs teachers and students together based on racial and/or ethnic grounds. It appears that African American students are given less attention or praise, and ignored or reprimanded with alarming regularity more than their white counterparts by white teachers (Casteel, 2001). Given that 9 out of 10 teachers in integrated school settings are overwhelmingly white and female, it is imperative to look at the historical and educational record pertaining to their interactions with African Americans, and students in particular.
Casteel (2001) reports that teachers ' treatment of students and attitudes have a tremendous effect on students such that negative treatment can erode student self-esteem, affect their motivation, and severely hamper their academic performance. Although a few investigators (Beady and Hansell, 1981) have found no negative treatment of African American students by white teachers, the majority of studies in this area speak volumes toward establishing the need for ethnic matching. In this qualitative study, the participants included 417 seventh grade social studies students considered low academic achievers, within eight suburban public schools in southeastern Louisiana. Student demographics were 48% white, 43% African American, 8% Hispanic, and 1% other. Teacher demographics included 16 white female teachers, median age 36, chosen by the principals for their positive evaluations and years of experience (med...


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...nance of positive feelings for their teachers as hope for better conditions rather than what conditions actually exist.
It is unclear whether white teachers all treat students differently purely out of prejudice, conscious or unconscious, or from a perception that that African Americans have different needs and abilities. In either case, this speaks to a diminished efficacy on the part of white teachers, especially female, to form paritied opinions of both African American and white students. What is known is that, regardless of the causes of racial preference, teacher interaction and treatment of students in integrated classrooms is not equal. Therefore, the need for CRP and /or teachers who are proficient in its delivery are driven by the lack of teacher efficacy demonstrated toward African American students, in which case ethnic matching could be a viable remedy.

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