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.

Research Opportunity

We are seeking thoughtful, detail-oriented students with a strong commitment to IGE’s core values of quality, respect, and ethics to help code data-slices from videos for the quantitative phase of the project using our coding protocol. Students will have the opportunity to get fully trained on a video-based coding system documenting teacher enactments of bias in the classroom. We will provide weekly supervision and training on the coding system. As part of SRP199 or Psych 196A, students will have the opportunity for a deeper exploration of the following topics: education in the lives of children and youth of color, bias, microaggressions, teacher expectations, classroom climate, and classroom management. This project is especially valuable for students interested in applied approaches to psychological research. Additional tasks may include entry, extraction, and checking of data.

If interested, please email Juliana Karras-Jean Gilles at (1) a brief cover letter describing your research goals and interest in this project; (2) a copy of your CV; and (3) a copy of your unofficial transcript.