Classroom BiasesClassroom Biases

A bias is a type of prejudice against a person, event, situation, or group … Educational settings have several factors that naturally lend themselves to opportunities for bias – intentional or not … gender, culture, economics, and ethnicity —



Gordon, D. & Livingston, G. (2010). A chat and a tweet on race. Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, 27 (20), 26. Retrieved from Academic Search Elite Database.

The authors assert that a new substantive conversation about race is necessary and must originate in the classroom among faculty and students in higher education. The concept of sustained discussions about race is not new, but the urgency to find grounds on which to converse is. The United States is at a crucial point in racial justice. The authors urge faculty to educate themselves about race, to teach it to their students, to acknowledge discrimination, to not encourage students to speak for their race, to be an advocate for change, and to use social media to extend the messages.

U.S. Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development and Office of the Under Secretary Advancing diversity and inclusion in higher education. Washington, D.C., 2016. Retrieved from

The Department of Education in conjunction with the White House released this report in November 2016 to celebrate the efforts of the Obama Administration to advance diversity and inclusion. It aims to explore the ways to further those efforts together. Key findings demonstrate that higher education is a pathway for social mobility; that racial and ethnic disparities exist in higher education enrollment; that gaps in college opportunity contribute to diminished ability to earn more; and that the interaction of race and ethnicity, family income, and parental education can influence educational and labor market outcomes.

Gaffney, C. (2016, Summer). Anatomy of an allyTeaching Tolerance. 34-37. Retrieved from

In the past being an ally in an educational environment meant being a white-teacher doing anti-racism work. But allies exits across all racial and ethnic identities. Becoming an allying is an ongoing process. The author stresses keeping these in mind during the process: Listen and offer help; do not hope that someone will educate you about his/her identity; accept criticism; don’t boast about your mission as an ally; speak up when you hear racist language; don’t apologize for your identity; seek support from other mentors; do not expect credit; and do not favor or support one group over another.

Murphy Paul, A. (2015, September 13). Are college lectures unfair? [Editorial]. The New York Times, p. SR12. Retrieved from

The theory that college lectures are biased against students who are low-income, female, a minority or are first-generation college attendees is proposed in this opinion piece. The author argues that lectures are biased in their format of active learning, which leaves out those who feel less inclined to contribute during class. He then proposes that a flipped classroom is a better format and a better equalizer for all students.