Curry's MyTeachingPartner Research Helps Close Racial Discipline Gaps


12/07/2016

UVA Today

Curry's MyTeachingPartner program focuses on improving classroom instruction, which may improve racial discipline gaps.

Can Better Instruction Close the Racial Discipline Gap?

Better classroom instruction is one answer to reducing the racial discipline gap, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Virginia, Rutgers University and University of British Columbia.

The finding, reported in the current issue of School Psychology Review, has important implications for addressing one of the most alarming and persistent trends occurring in high school classrooms across the country – that African-American students are typically disciplined, suspended and expelled at much higher rates than adolescents from other racial backgrounds.

To address this racial discipline gap, professional development programs for teachers typically place an emphasis on classroom and behavior management. But this study, in which high school teachers participated in a two-year-long, video-based coaching program called MyTeachingPartner – developed at UVA – found that the gap closed when a greater emphasis was placed on improving classroom instruction.