Teachers Are People Too: Examining the Racial Bias of Teachers Compared to Other American Adults

Jordan G. Starck, Travis Riddle, Stacey Sinclair, Natasha Warikoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


Schools are heralded by some as unique sites for promoting racial equity. Central to this characterization is the presumption that teachers embrace racial equity and teaching about this topic. In contrast, others have documented the ongoing role of teachers in perpetuating racial inequality in schools. In this article, we employ data from two national data sets to investigate teachers’ explicit and implicit racial bias, comparing them to adults with similar characteristics. We find that both teachers and nonteachers hold pro-White explicit and implicit racial biases. Furthermore, differences between teachers and nonteachers were negligible or insignificant. The findings suggest that if schools are to effectively promote racial equity, teachers should be provided with training to either shift or mitigate the effects of their own racial biases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


  • achievement gap
  • diversity
  • equity
  • race
  • regression analyses
  • social stratification
  • teacher education/development


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