Assistant Professor of Psychology Kristina Howansky and colleagues recently published an article entitled, "Initial Evidence for Shifting Race Essentialism Beliefs in the Classroom" in the journal Teaching of Psychology.
In this work, the authors conclude that "after engaging in course-directed activities designed to teach that race does not reflect biological reality, undergraduate participants expressed less general essentialist beliefs and more agreement that progress was needed to reduce racial inequality."
The authors also found that participants’ colorblindness potentially increased after the activity. "Our (mostly White) undergraduates may believe they should de-emphasize racial differences and ignore them as a social category, a problematic unintended consequence of our intervention," the authors noted. "We recommend adding instruction about racism as a social structure, the pitfalls of colorblind reasoning, and concrete anti-racist actions. Building an anti-racist curriculum requires effective tools, and it is important to investigate those tools' efficacy."