Race and Gender Bias in Teaching Evals?

Carolyn Shapiro, a new permanent editor at one of our favorite blogs, Empirical Legal Studies has this post on a forthcoming article on potential systemic unfairness in teaching evaluations.

“In Bias, the Brain, and Student Evaluations of Teaching, an article that will appear in St. John’s Law Review in November, Deborah J. Merritt of Ohio State Moritz College of Law argues that students’ stereotypes and biases affect their evaluations of their professors, and in ways that may particularly disadvantage women and minorities. The abstract explains that student assessments of teaching “respond overwhelmingly to a professor’s appearance and nonverbal behavior.” Merritt reports that “ratings based on just thirty seconds of silent videotape correlate strongly with end-of-semester evaluations.” The very interesting article includes an impressive and eye-opening survey of research and concludes with recommendations for creating a more meaningful system for evaluating teaching.”

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