What’s in a Name…or a Face? Student Perceptions of Faculty Race

What’s in a Name…or a Face? Student Perceptions of Faculty Race

by Jeanette Morehouse Mendez, Oklahoma State University & Jesse Perez Mendez, University of Central Florida

Utilizing Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a conceptual framework, this study examines student perception of faculty of color in academia from student professor preference. Using an experimental design to test the effect of race on selection of faculty with whom to take a course, we showed student participants two types of pairings of faculty: first, pairs of photos of faculty of different races, and same age and attractiveness, then names of faculty, paired by different race were shown. The study provided evidence of racial bias with a strong preference for courses taught by White faculty by various subgroups of students, providing a snapshot of what faculty of color potentially stand to face in classroom environments.

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This Educate-JPSE collaboration brings together articles published in the Journal of Political Science Education that discuss classroom approaches related to teaching about race, racism, social justice and civic action. Our reading list offers a range of materials – from syllabi, reading lists to active learning assignments – that discuss classroom practices through the lens of identity, gender and power relations. It includes a model for professors who are interested in partnering with local community activists to design civically engaged courses, with specific examples covering research and organizing around affordable housing issues. 

The Journal of Political Science Education is an intellectually rigorous, path-breaking, agenda-setting journal that publishes the highest quality scholarship on teaching and pedagogical issues in political science. The journal aims to represent the full range of questions, issues and approaches regarding political science education, including teaching-related issues, methods and techniques, learning/teaching activities and devices, educational assessment in political science, graduate education, and curriculum development.