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Building Inclusive Classrooms: Resources for Understanding Implicit Bias

As educators and caregivers, we strive to create inclusive classroom communities that represent and support the needs of all students. We welcome all families and invite opportunities to learn from each other about the cultural perspectives of our community members.

However, while we may have the best of intentions, the truth is that everyone has biases. Teachers often hold themselves to a high standard of equality, empathy, and education, but they are also human, and prone to some of the same biases present in many other adults with similar backgrounds.

What is Implicit Bias?

Researchers from Princeton and Tufts University, who conducted research on the teacher biases, define implicit bias as “the automatic cognitive associations or affective predispositions individuals have with different social groups,” noting that people often have little awareness and control over these biases. They note that implicit bias is different from explicit bias, which refers to “attitudes or affective reactions that people are aware that they have.”

The study found that teachers’ bias levels are similar to those of the larger population, challenging a common misconception that teachers are uniquely able to be “colorblind” or less biased than other adults. This means that educators must be intentional about gaining a better understanding of their own biases to become more self-aware and recognize opportunities for improvement. Toward that end, below is a list of resources to help educators examine and understand their personal biases.

Resources for Early Learning Professionals

Articles, Websites, and Resources for Reading

Webinars, Videos, & Audio Recordings

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