Implicit Bias can be understood as subconscious bias whereas explicit bias is a conscious bias. Every person on this earth follows a different perspective towards this cognitive bias and it is developed as per one's actions and attitude.
Studies reveal that explicit biases are controllable due to their conscious nature but implicit bias can be more destructive in some situations as it rises from complex grounds. Both these attitudes are harmful to classroom education; however, implicit biases can cause more damage to the mind of the student.
From the past few years, experts have observed negative impacts of these cognitive biases on students as it is directly affecting their learning ability and overall performance. The unconscious reactions, attitudes, and stereotypes affect the understanding of the learners and it creates disturbance in their academic success as well.
These biases make people feel threatened. When students are exposed to such biases more often in a classroom environment, they start creating boundaries for themselves and feel distinguished from others. Explicit biases give a boost to the feeling of discrimination and act like a demotivating force to students. When teachers keep on developing imaginary assumptions about learning behaviors of students, it starts harming their own teaching abilities. These assumptions create a gap between teachers and students and the education system comes under higher risk.
Here are few tips on how teachers can avoid such biases in the classroom:
- First of all, teachers need to become aware of their biases. Before you begin communication with your student, ask yourself what are your biases towards him/her and how you can stop them working like an autopilot to your conversation. Try to be genuine when they are sharing their thoughts with you and listen patiently without using your pre-judgments. In order to improve your awareness, prefer to replace your biases with affirming thoughts and receptive listening habits.
- It is high time to understand that bias is a universal human habit, it cannot be considered as a personal defect. One can find ways to manage it well. Listening can help us to disrupt the biased thinking and we can develop a new positive perspective about the person. Even if your student shows the least interest in your subject, maybe he has some other good qualities that you have not noticed yet. Try to focus on the positive aspects of their personality instead of always staying focused towards the negatives.
- In order to keep biases out of the door in your classroom, it is important to develop a healthy relationship with every student in your class. Prefer to give equal attention to all of them without isolating them on the basis of their general behaviors. Improve trust and belongingness in your relationship so that you never find time to create false judgments in your mind. Note that, these cognitive biases can harm the overall growth of students and can develop negative thoughts in their mind. So, as a teacher, it is your responsibility to make them feel secure and full of confidence.