A recent small study suggests that the long term effects of mistrusting teachers could impact preteens’ ability to attend college.

When students of color perceive that the way they are treated by their teachers reflects bias, they may be less likely to attend college than if they had trust in their teachers to treat them fairly.

The Long Term Effects of Mistrusting Teachers“We don’t think the discrimination and bias, by itself, had this effect,” said lead study author David Yeager, a psychology researcher at the University of Texas at Austin and co-chair of the Mindset Scholars Network at Stanford University in California.

“Instead, we think these experiences made students disengage from the system,” Yeager continued. “Once you’re disengaged, you do worse, you get lower grades, you’re more likely to get in trouble, and so on, and once kids have low grades or high absences, they’re just less likely to go on and get higher SAT scores and eventually make it to college.”

Yeager and his colleagues believe that it is important to examine whether students of color have school experiences which lead them to mistrust authorities. The long term implications for young people are critical, they write in the journal Child Development.

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