A recent study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research has found that the performance gap between minority and white college students falls by almost half when they are taught by an instructor from a similar ethnic background.
Using data from one of the largest community colleges in the nation, De Anza College in California, the results show that “Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans are 2.9 percent more likely to pass courses with instructors of a similar background and 2.8% more likely to pass courses with underrepresented instructors.”
So basically, minority professors can create a positive influence on underrepresented students. The study also highlights the need for more teachers of color saying:
Only 9.6 percent of all full-time instructional faculty at U.S. colleges are black, Latino or Native American (U.S. Department of Education 2010). In contrast, these groups comprise one-third of the college-age population and an even higher percentage of children. Many social scientists hypothesize that the lack of minority instructors limits the availability of role models, increases the likelihood of “stereotype threats” and discrimination against minority students, and limits exposure to instructors with similar cultures and languages.
So readers, do you think it makes a difference having an instructor from a similar background? Has any teacher with a similar ethnic experience as yours made an impact on your education?[Photo By Daniel Morris]