NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1155772
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0002-8312
Commentary: On the Race of Teachers and Students: A Reflection on Experience, Scientific Evidence, and Silence
Luke, Allan
American Educational Research Journal, v54 n1 suppl p102S-110S Apr 2017
Adam Wright, Michael A. Gottfried, and Vi-Nhuan Le demonstrate empirically that minority teachers have a positive impact on the "social-emotional development" of American minority kindergarten children. Their analyses of 2010-2011 data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study focus on measurable effects in four social and affective domains: self-control, externalizing behaviors, interpersonal skills, and approaches to learning. This is a significant contribution to decades of qualitative and quantitative evidence on the effects of minority teachers and minority hiring policies, which have a difficult and politically charged history over the six decades since the U.S. Supreme Court's 1954 ruling in "Brown v. Board of Education". As Wright and colleagues observe, while the school-age population of minority children and youth--African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and migrant and refugee communities-- continues to grow beyond majority in many urban schools, districts, and states, the teaching workforce remains predominantly White. In another recent analysis of a national longitudinal database on effective teaching, Cherng and Halpin (2016) show that minority students consistently rate Black and Latino teachers higher across a range of measures. Both studies cite the extensive empirical literature that makes the case for what Wright et al. here refer to as "cultural synchrony": aggregate educational benefits of alignment of the cultural and racial backgrounds of teachers with those of their students. In relation to the Australian context where the author lives and works, several findings of a large-scale empirical study of school and leadership reform in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education (Luke et al. 2013) are relevant to questions of cultural synchrony--or indeed, to questions of "cultural asynchrony" (Carbaugh, 2014): where intercultural communication and exchange breaks down, fails, or where it is institutionally or systemically precluded or blocked. [This article offers a commentary on "A Kindergarten Teacher Like Me: The Role of Student-Teacher Race in Social-Emotional Development" (EJ1155312).]
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A