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Implicit Bias And Why Educators Need To Identify It?

March 1, 2019

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Implicit Bias And Why Educators Need To Identify It?

March 1, 2019


Last night, we had an interesting debate on twitter where we asked educators about implicit bias and how they deal with it. Across the spectrum, teachers feel the need to lead this change but feel helpless as many of these discussions are difficult to perpetuate.


As a person of color, an immigrant and a woman, I have always found discussions on implicit bias tough and hard to lead. Yet, as a person invested in the system and also a person who has identified her own implicit bias and faced it, I find these conversations very important. 


The problem with implicit bias is that it's often construed as "racism" or "sexism" and puts everyone on the back foot.


Implicit bias is not racism


Implicit bias is not sexism, either.


Implicit bias is unconscious. It is a mental map of stereotypes we have created basis our interaction with the world around us. 


My love affair with Implicit bias started in my days of MBA in a class on Social psychology. 


However, it took momentum the day my daughter came home crying. She is passionate about theatre and  was upset how her school play had only white characters. She felt she won't make the cut. 


These were her exact words - "I won't fit the director's vision of a white, blonde character that fits the script. There is no point auditioning". 


At her delicate age, she knew these subtle character differences but more importantly, I knew that she had just faced the very first instance of implicit bias. The system had failed her and many others like her.  


This wasn't explicit "racism" and not at all intentional. It was an implic