Teachers' Responses to Bias in the Classroom: How Response Type and Situational Factors Affect Student Perceptions


Guy A. Boysen, Department of Psychology, SUNY Fredonia, W357 Thompson Hall, Fredonia, NY 14063. E-mail: guy.boysen@fredonia.edu


College students frequently encounter prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes, but there is no research on effective teacher responses to classroom bias. Three studies examined students' perceptions of teacher responses to bias in the classroom. Study 1 experimentally manipulated the level of bias expressed and the teacher's response. Students perceived responding to bias as more effective than ignoring bias. Study 2 demonstrated that students perceive differences in the intensity of common responses to bias. Study 3 manipulated if bias occurred publicly or privately and if the target of bias was present or not, and students evaluated teacher responses of differing intensity for their effectiveness in achieving specific goals. The results provide evidence for the efficacy of matching responses to specific goals.