Intro to Teaching Newsletter

Stereotyping can lead to unjust disciplinary actions!

Student success

The goal of public education is to provide equal learning opportunities for all students regardless of social factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic class. However, it is difficult to achieve this goal because there are many teachers and educators whose approach towards a student is based on social factors that leads to stereotyping. Ultimately decisions made by teachers are influenced by these negative generalizations which dictates the success of the student. As current and future educators we must analyze how race and other social categories can affect our decision making about students. We must strive to overcome any obstacles that may prevent reaching our goal which is to provide equality in education in an effort to reform and improve the public education system in America. This article will discuss unjust disciplinary actions by teachers and how it can hinder student success. Also I will share information about money that has been spent unnecessarily on disciplinary action programs. Finally, I will present alternative solutions to help minimize stereotyping and promote student success.

Issues with stereotyping/labeling

Article Are you biased discusses how stereotyping by teachers is a problem. This article focuses on African American students and how teachers assume African American children will be more problematic given social factors. If teachers continue labelling/stereotyping students based on their race, the students might not get the opportunity to demonstrate their academic abilities. Unfortunately, many teachers make unconscious decisions about a student based on their race or ethnicity. Are you biased, also presents data of how minorities such as African Americans face more disciplinary action compared to white students. Disciplinary actions such as detention, suspension or getting expelled from school hinders the students’ education achievement. However, “There is no research to support that African-American kids misbehave more than other children, yet racial discrepancies in school discipline exist.” These disciplinary actions distract students from obtaining a fair education. Authors Hall, Quinn, and Gollnick also discuss stereotype threat and report how students are pushed out of school by decisions of educators that lead to suspension and expulsions.

Possible solutions

I believe that money should not be spent on disciplinary action programs because it promotes failure for students. Instead money should be used towards programs to help troubled students without removing them from their learning environment. I also believe that money should be used to promote programs to help teachers teach in ways that appeals to all students regardless of race. Providing teacher support will minimize negative stereotyping and prevent unfair disciplinary actions.