Social Psychology of Education

August 3, 2020

“New Bentley-Edwards paper studies effects of racial stress on classroom management”

Keisha Bentley-Edwards, the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity’s associate director of research and the director of its health equity working group, has published a new paper highlighting how teachers’ racial stress affects their efficacy in the classroom.

The paper, “Teaching scared: pre?service teacher appraisals of racial stress, socialization and classroom management self?efficacy,” was published online last Thursday. It will appear in a forthcoming issue of Social Psychology of Education.

Crucially, the article found that the more discomfort teachers had in discussing race, the less confident they were in managing their students and classrooms. (The researchers developed a reliable measurement of teacher racial stress for this analysis, a metric which previously didn’t exist for these teachers.) This finding is especially crucial as it relates to developing quality student-teacher relationships and the academic success of BIPOC students in particular.

“If ‘teaching scared’ can be addressed,” Bentley and her co-authors conclude, “teacher classroom management can improve which can lead to expectations that trusting teacher-Black/Latino student relationships will become the rule, rather than serendipitous.”

The full essay can be requested here.