Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Queries on Implicit Bias

I helped design some reflexive activities for early childhood educators working with implicit bias, including these queries, which were meant to be used after watching a presentation by Dr. Walter Gilliam, embedded below. 


1. What are your immediate reactions to the stories of implicit bias in the video?

2. What feelings and thoughts do you experience when you open up to the idea that you have implicit biases?

3. What makes humans susceptible to bias?

4. How does bias get established, individually, culturally, and organizationally?

5. Because humans tend to prefer to think of themselves as always fair and kind, it is common for us to resist acknowledging bias, defaulting to denial, blame, etc. But, as Dr. Gilliam put it, “In the early childhood field, … , we seem to have teachers who care more about their babies than they do about their egos.” Why might we consider dealing honestly with implicit bias a strength in our staff?

6. Dr. Gilliam also said that “Equity is not how you interact with the majority of the child; it’s how you interact with even the minority of the children, and every single individual [child] in relation to all the other children in the classroom. … We just value whatever we measure. … If we can change the measurements, … then sometimes we can effect human behavior without the humans even thinking about it.” Using Gorski and Swalwell's categories for equity literacy+, what practices, policies, and organizational values might be resources for promoting equity? What new measures, and their related practices, policies, and organizational values, might be useful?

Alternately, you could practice writing competencies and related skills for each category.

****+in Paul C. Gorski and Katy Swalwell (March 2015). "Equity Literacy for All," Educational Leadership (72:6, 34-40). Available online at: http://edchange.org/publications/Equity-Literacy-for-All.pdf