Teachers Of America: Teachers Of Color Are Better, Study Says

A study finds out that teacher and student relationship is better among teachers of color and students of all races.

“Do you speak English?”

That was the question Hua-Yu Sebastian Cherng got from one of his students when he walked into his summer school classroom for the first time as a new teacher. He replied: “Yes, I do, but this is a math class, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

“Oh my gosh, was that racist?”, Cherng says the girl asked, and swiftly checked her own conjecture. “That’s exactly like when I go into a store and people follow me around because I’m black.”


Cherng, who is of Chinese descent, tutored in an 85 percent Black American middle school located in San Francisco. He had his own effective teaching methods and a very good connection with his students, so he questioned himself about the role his identity played in creating a healthy rapport with his students.

Cherng is now a sociologist at New York University and he took on a research with his colleague Peter Halpin with the aim of looking at this question. They just published a paper, where they discussed how it appears that students of all races have better perceptions of their teachers of color compared to their white teachers.


They carried out the study with the process of assessing a group of 1,700 sixth–ninth grade teachers from over 300 schools in cities across the country. A 30-question survey was carried out, as students answered various questions about different dimensions of teaching. For instance:
How much does this teacher challenge his students? How supportive is he? How well does he manage the classroom? How captivating does he make the subject?


The researchers found that all the students had notably more positive perceptions of their teachers of color versus white teachers on at least two or three of seven grouping in the survey.


Teachers of color have got a better rapport with students because of their ability to draw on their know-how to tackle issues of gender, race, which can be highly useful in teaching students, especially in America’s majority-minority public schools. Through effective teaching, students amass a lot of knowledge at their schools. Besides that, Black teachers are very tolerant towards students, as they know too well, what inequality and oppression mean.

Source: The News Review
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