Teachers’ implicit bias against black students starts in preschool, study finds


“Findings reveal subconscious racial bias of teachers, who directed attention more closely to black boys when ‘challenging behavior’ is expected. 

If anyone ever doubted that black children are not treated equally in the classroom, the research released this year surely proved them wrong. In June, studies stated that black students are nearly four times as likely to be suspendedas white students, and nearly twice as likely to be expelled. In September, we heard that black preschoolers are 3.6 times more likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions.

And a few days ago, new research from the Yale Child Study Center finally pointed to clues as to why these disparities may exist: implicit bias.

Implicit biases take the form of subtle, sometimes subconscious stereotypes held by white teachers, which had been shown to result in lower expectations and rates of gifted program referrals for black students. Yale’s study revealed these biases are directed at much younger children than previously thought, and are present in black and white teachers’ behaviors.”