A recently published law review article examines how the race and gender of law school professors impact their teaching of first year courses. In Paint by Number? How the Race and Gender of Law School Faculty Affect the First-Year Curriculum, 29 Chicana/o-Latina/o L. Rev. 1 (2010), Meera E. Deo, Maria Woodruff, and Rican Vue examine whether 1L faculty tend to follow a rigidly prescribed curriculum, or whether they draw on their own background and experiences in teaching first year courses.
The authors found appreciable differences among teaching methods. While female faculty and faculty of color make substantial efforts to engage students in discussions involving race and gender, white male professors are reluctant to discuss diversity in the classroom. This is significant because statistics show that most first year courses are taught almost exclusively by white male professors. The authors present and analyze existing data throughout their article, and they conclude that a meaningful presence of faculty of color, female faculty, and students of color in the 1L classroom is essential not only for students who find diversity discussions personally significant, but for all students who wish to understand the development of the law in a progressively multi-cultural society.
Click here for the full article.
Hat tip to the TaxProf Blog.