Teacher Bias Hurts Girls in Math

University of Texas study: Teachers give girls unfair ratings
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2012 4:26 PM CDT
Teacher Bias Hurts Girls in Math
Her math skills seem fine to us.   (Shutterstock)

White girls can't add? According to a national survey, high school teachers rate the math skills of white girls as being lower than those of white boys, even when their test scores are comparable, LiveScience reports. Calling the bias "relatively small in magnitude," two researchers at the University of Texas at Austin wrote that it "suggests that teachers hold the belief that math is just easier for white males than it is for white females."

They conclude that the bias "may very well be something they are not consciously aware of ... it's usually subtle." The researchers, who started collecting data nationwide in 2002, also found that teachers gave male and female minority students low ratings in math—which don't seem biased, though, because their test scores often were lower. But the researchers say that doesn't mean minority students are exactly free of other negative stereotypes. (More mathematics stories.)

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