During a discussion about healing race relations, Hillary Clinton shared, “I think implicit bias is a problem for everyone, not just police… Too many of us jump to conclusions about each other… We need all of us to be asking hard questions about why am I feeling this way…”
Recent research out of the Yale Child Study Center supports Clinton’s statement that implicit bias is a problem for everyone. We have had engaging conversations and trainings here at Seneca about how implicit bias affects the education system and our students – and as an early childhood educator – I was intrigued by a story on NPR last week that highlighted this research out of Yale in a segment titled: Bias isn’t Just a Police Problem, it’s a Preschool Problem.
"What we found was exactly what we expected based on the rates at which children are expelled from preschool programs," the researcher reported. "Teachers looked more at the black children than the white children, and they looked specifically more at the African-American boy." This study demonstrates just one way in which implicit bias deeply affects students of color. It is common sense that "If you look for something in one place, that's the only place you can typically find it."
If you’d like to explore this topic further I encourage you to visit the Project Implicit website, developed in collaboration by researchers studying this topic in universities across the nation. The website provides a variety of implicit bias tests that you can take yourself if you’re interested!
Jenny Ventura, Director of Model Implementation and Assessment