Implicit bias is characterized as unconscious attitudes or stereotypes that influence our perceptions, behaviors, and judgments. While bias is unavoidable, it should be reduced and corrected as much as possible. When it comes to children, their experiences shape their trajectory well beyond their early schooling environment, as they do in practically every aspect of their lives. I consider myself to be an expert when it comes to edtech.
It is hard to look for higher education jobs. Their early schooling has the potential to both alleviate and reinforce their implicit prejudices. Educators and leaders in early life are crucial in this process and can significantly lessen the harmful impacts of implicit biases.
Learners’ Implicit Bias
When it comes to gender and race, the longer implicit prejudices are held without being questioned or addressed; the more likely they are to become internalized. Increasing exposure to other cultures worldwide is one strategy to fight against this.
Educators might, for example, highlight instruments from Asia, Africa, South America, and Australia while discussing various tools. Even presenting diverse ethnicities while discussing multiple jobs, particularly professionals like physicians and attorneys, might assist young children to overcome racial stereotypes.
The Sword with Two Edges
Implicit prejudice must be addressed not just by the students but also by the school professionals. The findings of a study by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) on implicit bias among early childhood educators put some insight on the issue:
- Irrespective of race, educators paid great attention to the conduct of black students, particularly black boys.
- White educators held black students to “lower behavioral norms” and frequently downplayed their egregious misconduct.
- Compared to white educators, black educators held black students to a “higher standard of behavior” and scrutinized their behavior more than white students.
- Expulsion/suspension was more likely to be recommended by black educators.
- When information about the student’s family life was provided if they shared the same race, there was an increased empathy between the instructor and the learner. The teacher considered the particular actions more extreme and “insolvable” if they were of different races.
These startling statistics should prompt all educators to examine their behaviors and thought processes to discover whether they have any implicit biases and seek to eliminate them.
Every day, implicit prejudice reels its head, either deliberately or subconsciously. It’s more challenging when we are unaware of how our biases influence our opinions and behaviors. Fortunately, Harvard University sponsored Project Implicit, which developed the Implicit Association Test (IAT), one of the most widely used instruments for determining bias. You may take the exam by clicking here.
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