“…the direction in which education starts a man, will determine his future life.” – Plato, The Republic, Book IV.

As educators, we anchor our teaching principles in the values of equality and fairness to ensure the success of our students. Yet, layered atop the grounding ideals of equal opportunity for all students is the rugged reality in which, we too, as educators have emerged from our own specific contexts and carry with us deeply embedded beliefs that may transcend intentional thought. These specific contexts may, further, lead to unconscious stereotypes known as “implicit bias,” and can be detrimental to the way we engage with our students (Implicit Project, 2011). In particular, educators who were raised in the United States have been shaped within the cultural milieu of systemic racism and structural inequities in education. We carry that training with us and as a result may be utilizing instructional approaches that are, as Koch (2018) describes, “inadvertently exacerbating contemporary structural inequities” (p. 2).

In order to improve our students' learning experience, it is important to uproot implicit biases and explicitly consider inclusive strategies. To start, if we want equality in our classroom, then we must, first, address equity.



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