A Significant Issue in Education: Teacher BIAS

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A significant problem of practice in education is teacher bias. Teacher bias has implications around race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and socioeconomic status. Teachers must be willing to examine their beliefs, acknowledge and overcome their biases. Teachers need to evaluate their practices in relation to their ideals as well as recognize and assess the position of power they hold in their classrooms in order to be true Social Justice Educators (Cooper, 2003).
According to the most recent data from the Department of Education, preschoolers who are racially diverse are being disciplined at a rate 3 times as great as their white classmates (Rich, 2014). The Department of Education data shows 48 percent of preschool suspensions were
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Schools rarely look at the effectiveness of the White teacher in relation to the Black student.
The student of color who survives this system and enters College continues to face issues around bias, stereotyping and oppression on predominantly white campuses. The issues range from student to student bias, faculty to student bias, as well as racial profiling from police on and off campus. Many colleges and universities have created Bias Acts Response Teams (BART). Some examples BART has dealt with on campus include:
• Faculty members whose intent is to bring a student of color into the classroom conversation ends up asking the student to speak for their entire race.
• Faculty member asks a Japanese American student about the conflict in Korea.
• A student feels their contributions concerning the African American experience are disregarded.
• Faculty members who are interested in offering assistance to a student whose native language is not English ends up offending the student by making assumption about their citizenship.
• Students in a classroom have a debate around race and one student says something that is offensive or reinforces a stereotype and the instructor says nothing.

• Students report that they are excluded from joining groups for group projects.

• Students report sitting alone in a class with no one choosing a seat near them.

A recent study found about 50% of students encounter

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