Bias in Teaching

One of the things I love about my role as Learning Technology teacher, is that I get to work with all the teachers at my school. They come to my room or I go to theirs, and prior to our meeting, we get to discuss how and why they would like to integrate technology into their teaching. 

As I work with teachers, I get to see them in their natural habitat and see a different side of the person who I have lunch with, sit down at recess with, or talk to during meetings.  I get to see them as a teacher. And I get to see what they love, what they value, what is important to them in their classroom.  I also get to see what falls a little lower on the ladder of importance for them. I listen to the choices they make when talking to and with our students and I see them in the way they communicate. 

And that makes me think about my own teaching. 

Where is my bias?  What do I value above other things? When have I come across to my students as having a strong opinion for or against something – and is this ok?  

When you google ‘bias in teaching’ you get a whole lots of hits for gender bias, political bias, hidden bias.  This is not really what I am talking about.  I am talking about the bias that comes from teachers being human and having opinions about the job they have been asked to do.  As teachers, we sign on to teach.  This is a wide-open task that is narrowed down by the philosophy, vision, and mission of a school.  When we sign on to work somewhere, we sign on to live out the values of the school. But we are human.  And we have our own ideals and vision too.  

Some teachers don’t love math – and research has pointed to parents and teachers passing on their own math anxiety to their students. What about other subjects?  Are we unconsciously (or consciously) pushing our own agenda when it comes to what we highlight as important?

What do you do when your vision, your ideals, your beliefs do not mesh with that of your school?  Where is the bias in your teaching? 


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