Let’s call this the “Obama Phenomena”

The soft bigotry of low expectations on display. In a study, teachers were given a poorly written essay to grade.

Teachers read and commented on a poorly written essay which they believed was composed by a student in a writing class. Some teachers thought the student was black, some thought the student was Latino, and some thought that the student was white. Teachers believed that their feedback would be sent directly to the student, in order to see how the student would benefit from their comments and advice.

In fact, there was no actual student, and the poorly written essay was developed by Harber and his team. The real purpose was to see how teachers would respond to subpar work due to the race of the student who composed it. As Harber and his team predicted, the teachers displayed a “positive feedback bias,” providing more praise and less criticism if they thought the essay was written by a minority student than by a white student.

Who is harmed by this bias? Not white students. You don’t learn if you aren’t challenged and are just promoted for showing up. Our president is proof positive of that effect.

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One Response to Let’s call this the “Obama Phenomena”

  1. Notamobster says:

    As unfair as it may be, being harshly criticized makes one better.