All Teachers Should Be Trained To Overcome Their Hidden Biases

TIME

Last week, two studies revealed that unexamined teacher biases are having a significant effect on girls’ education. The first found that gender stereotypes are negatively affecting girls’ math grades and positively affecting boys’. The second revealed how disproportionately penalized young black girls are for being assertive in classroom settings. Together, they make the clearest possible case for making it mandatory for teachers to be trained in spotting and striving to overcome their implicit biases.

The findings of the first study reveal both the short and long-term effects of primary school teachers’ implicit beliefs about gender on children’s math skills and ambitions. Researchers found that girls often score higher than boys on name-blind math tests, but once presented with recognizable boy and girl names on the same tests, teachers award higher scores to boys. The long-term effects are amplified by socioeconomic factors and family structure—girls from families where fathers were better…

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