Questions on Research in Science Teaching



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Racial Bias and Prejudice


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Background Literature and Hypothesis

The race is a social construction that determines whether an individual is given or denied benefits and privileges. Eberhardt et al. (2004) indicate that Black Americans have been stereotyped as being violent and criminals. The association between black and crime is not only solid but automatic. Exposure to racial ideas allows individuals to reach for objects that are crime-relevant. People use their visual abilities to judge what they see. Everyday activities and interactions expose people to more sensory information than they can process. The study used police officers to identify what they see as a criminal and found out that police officers are less by the possibility of crime triggering thoughts of black Americans. A significant issue to address is whether textbooks themselves inaccurately reflect ethnic groups and perpetuate biases, stereotypes, or discriminatory ideas, whether consciously or unconsciously of anti-foreigner animosity or ethnic prejudice. Griffin (2002) attempts to justify minority students’ underperformance in academic fields and women’s underperformance in mathematics. Griffin (2002) claims that the situational self-relevance of negative group stereotypes raises anxiety in these students and that these differential anxiety levels explain performance disparities. According to the author, manipulating stereotype hazards can affect academic success—cultural inequality in academic achievement. Schneider et al. (2002) indicated that measuring students’ academic performance is challenging due to the socio-economic, psychological, and environmental factors that affect students. I hypothesis that racial bias and prejudice affect the performance of college students.

Performance of Students

Performance is perceived as an understanding of the achieved results, which is closely related to efficiency and effectiveness defined at the level of each individual (Aguinus 2019). The purpose of attending schools for students is to achieve academic performance. Factors such as intellectual level, personality skills, interests are acquired and developed in the school setting. The performance of students is measured using a grading system after undergoing a series of tests or examinations. The performance of students can also be measured through personal development. Academic performance for students determines whether students will progress with their educational journey or drop out. The study will use academic assessments as a measurement tool to assess performance.

Racial bias and prejudice

Racial bias and prejudice are the unreasoned judgment a person made based solely on personal opinion (Crespi 2013). Racial biases and prejudice are formed by the culture and socialization experiences of a person. The biases are based on prejudgment of habits, traits, abilities, and expectations of specific groups or individuals that are different from the other race. It is used to classify people according to their physical characteristics, such as skin and hair. Being bias is the tendency to prefer one thing or person over another and acting in favoritism. Racial bias and prejudices yield inequality in different areas such as health, criminal justice, or the education system. Individuals are influenced by the environment and stereotypes that are already in existence. Cultural conditioning, media portrayals, and upbringing are other factors that contribute to racial bias and prejudice.

Operationalization of Study Variable

Operationalization is the process of converting concepts into empirical measurement or quantifying variables to measure occurrences, strength, and frequency(citation). The independent variable performance will be measured through academic assessment. The dependent variable racial bias and prejudice will be measured using inclusion and exclusion criteria through self-report and multiple item instruments.


Research design can be thought of as the structure of the research. It is the glue that holds all of the elements in research together (Leavy 2017). the research design employed in the study was descriptive. A descriptive analysis is concerned with answering the question of what, where, and how of a phenomenon (Vaismoradi, Turunen & Bondas 2013). descriptive design is the investigation in which quantitative data is collected and analyzed in an effective and meaningful way. The research design help portrays accurate and current facts. Race in the study will be in four levels white, black. The other factor will include bisexuality.

            The study will involve a study target population of university students in a public university. A population is well defined as a set of people, services, elements, and events investigated. The study conducted interviews with the students and teachers in the selected university. The participation of the research was open to anyone willing to participate. Before the commencement of the study, we obtained permission from the school administration to conduct the study. A questionnaire was also developed that was availed in the university portal for purposes of anonymity and confidentiality. The questionnaire asked students to identify racial bias and prejudice and whether they have experienced the same. Students were also asked whether racial discrimination affected their performance and how. The validity of the study was obtained by asking specific and objective questions on the questionnaire.


The data was collected and analyzed, and presented in a graph. The information was collected from a sample population of six hundred and sixty-eight students from the public university from different racial backgrounds. The data from the graph indicates the performance of students from best, good to poor of the 686students.



The Y-axis represents the number of students who took part in the study. In contrast, the X-axis represents the performance of the students affected by racial bias and prejudice in one way or another. From the graph, it is evident that white, black American students, bisexual students, and other students who do not identify as white have experienced racial bias and prejudice at one point in their education or outside the school environment. Apart from the white students, the student’s performance is greatly affected due to the effects of racial bias and prejudice. The results, however, do not indicate that white students do not undergo racial discrimination and prejudice. The results suggest that the intolerance does not affect their performance as it does to the other students.




Being prejudged in the classroom setting affects the concentration and attendance of students. Poor attendance and attention due to racial bias and prejudice directly affect how the students will perform in the tests and examinations used to grade students’ performance. The interviews conducted on teachers also indicated that students perform poorly based on the social-economic factors that affect their education. Racial bias and prejudice affect accessibility to certain institutions to attain academic excellence. The study found racial discrimination and prejudice play a vital role in the performance of students. What is left to be understood is what happens to students affected by racial bias and prejudice after completing their education. Whether the students complete their education or choose a different path for their lives. Does racial discrimination and bias affect other aspects of their lives apart from the academic performance?

The study had its fair share of challenges. The timing of the survey was also wrong as the students were approaching their examinations. The students did not have a lot of free time to participate in the study thoroughly. In the future, it is essential to consider the time of researching to ensure the participation of more students.


Education is an essential aspect of everyone’s lives. Educational platforms such as universities should be a haven for students. The School curriculum should be designed in a way that encourages all students to participate equally. Racial bias and prejudice should be eliminated in the school environment to facilitate good performance.



Aguinis, H. (2019). Performance management for dummies. John Wiley & Sons.

Crespi, I. (2013). The public opinion process: how the people speak. Routledge.

Eberhardt, J. L., Goff, P. A., Purdie, V. J., & Davies, P. G. (2004). Seeing black: race, crime, and visual processing. Journal of personality and social psychology, 87(6), 876.

Griffin, B. W. (2002). Academic disidentification, race, and high school dropouts. The High        School Journal, 85(4), 71-81.

Leavy, P. (2017). Research design: Quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods, arts-based, and community-based participatory research approaches.

Schneider, R. M., Krajcik, J., Marx, R. W., & Soloway, E. (2002). Performance of students in project‐based science classrooms on a national measure of science achievement. Journal of Research in Science Teaching: The Official Journal of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, 39(5), 410-422.

Vaismoradi, M., Turunen, H., & Bondas, T. (2013). Content analysis and thematic analysis:          Implications for conducting a qualitative descriptive study. Nursing & health sciences,                                 15(3), 398-405.

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