July 13, 2016
Energy wanes as bias kicks in
One of the authors of a new report on how teacher expectations have contributed to low Maori student achievement hopes it will help teachers counter their unconscious bias.
Unconscious Bias in Education was released today by diversity consultancy Oranui.
Principal investigator Anton Blank says there has been a huge amount of research on the way teachers respond to students, which has been dubbed the Pygmalion effect.
He says teachers don’t set out to make racist decisions, but people connect more easily with people like themselves.
They also develop negative stereotypes about groups not like them.
"What researchers have found by talking to New Zealand teachers in mainstream schools is generally they have more negative stereotypes of Maori students, normally based around things like crime, violence and poverty, and as a result they are less effective in engaging with them, in fact, put less energy into Maori children," Mr Blank says.
What happens in New Zealand is similar to the bias that affects the education of African American children.
Copyright © 2016, UMA Broadcasting Ltd: www.waateanews.com