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 —



U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Justice, & White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Fact Sheet on Combating Discrimination Against Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) and Muslim, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian (MASSA) Students (June 6, 2016) Retrieved from

This report provides examples of actions or inactions that violate the protection of students of varying racial, ethnic, religious backgrounds from discrimination.

Ricks, S. A. (2014). Falling through the cracks: Black girls and education. Interdisciplinary Journal of Teaching and Learning, 4(1), 10-21.

Several educational reform initiatives have been introduced within the past two decades, but almost all of them ignore the gendered racism faced by black girls. This article offers a detailed exploration of past and present challenges faced by black women within the education system and concludes with a proposed framework for teachers and administration to address these challenges.

Fondas, N. (2013, September 17). First step to fixing gender bias in business school: Admit the problem. Retrieved from

For years women in the Harvard Business School MBA program received lower grades than men, even after entering the program with similar grades and test scores. Gender bias within the assignment of class participation grades was identified as a major contributing factor. In response, faculty were provided with software that allows them to analyze how they are grading and who they are calling on in class. Scribes were also assigned to each course to record class discussions; removing the need for faculty to recall participation by memory. Within 4 years of making these changes the representation of women in the top five percent of the class rose 24 percent.

Cardoza, K. (2016, January 20). First-generation college students are not succeeding in college, and money isn’t the problem. The Washington Post. Retrieved from

When an unlikely full ride scholarship recipient drops out of college a year after starting, the likely reason would be because of financial needs. However, as the author points out, the real reasons are because of unanticipated barriers: academic, social and cultural, as well as their own internal self-doubt. The author suggests out how colleges can be supportive of first generation, low income students, so that they can be successful in their academic careers.