Biases in the Classroom
Students are subject to the consequences of a variety of biases present in the classroom based on their genders, personality styles, or academic abilities reflected in their grades. The first inequality present in the classroom can be observed through the different ways teachers treat male and female students. The types of attention teachers give to students, as well as their beliefs in students’ academic capabilities, differ depending on whether the student is male or female. Whether they be conscious or unconscious, these biases have a profound effect on widening the academic achievement gap between girls and boys. Teachers may also be biased in the ways in which they interact with extroverted and introverted students. Teachers and the educational system celebrate and cater to the needs of extroverted students rather than to introverts. The quieter students in the classroom may be perceived as “disengaged” or as students who hold negative attitudes about learning. Yet, although their personalities may not outright display it, the introverted students can prove to have the brightest minds or sharpest attention spans, and teachers must not fail to engage these students and give them adequate acknowledgement. Lastly, teachers may show a bias toward students who possess a higher academic aptitude rather than at-risk or lower performing students. This bias allows for the “smart” kids to excel further and the “dumb” kids to fall further behind. This shows a bias in the classroom because a student’s true capabilities may not be able to be properly expressed in the current grading system.
Jennifer T Christman, Susan M Ferguson
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium poster
"Biases in the Classroom" (2019). Stander Symposium Posters. 1511.