Systematically Examining Teacher Enactments of Bias with MET Data Funded by the Spencer Foundation

Funded by the Spencer Foundation
Carola Suárez-Orozco 

Project Abstract

To date, we know little about the nature of bias in primary and secondary classrooms—how it unfolds, the frequency of occurrence, its targets, under what circumstances, and its potential effects on classroom climate. The aim of this research is to systematically bring conceptual clarity to several potential forms of classroom enactments of bias including classroom sanctioning (positive & negative); relationships (enhancing & detracting interactions); instruction (engaging & unengaging); as well as cultural responsiveness.

The Measures of Effective Teaching video data set of 4th to 9th grade classrooms provides a unique opportunity to unobtrusively consider Teacher Enactments of Bias (TEB) across a range of grades, contexts, and student and teacher characteristics. Using a mixed-methods, multiphase design, each phase is iterative.  In the first qualitative phase, we are closely studying 60+ classrooms to describe TEB typologies. We have developed a protocol with which to systematically code TEBs in the subsequent quantitative phase, when we will code data-slices from 800 criterion-sampled classrooms, in order to analyze patterns of occurrences as well as their determinants and consequences. In the last phase, we will conduct focus groups with teachers to enhance the credibility of our findings.