Addressing Bias in Teaching

Thursday 1:30pm-4:00pm TSU - Humphries: 13
Afternoon Mini Workshop


Blair Schneider, University of Kansas Main Campus
Unconscious biases can impact the way we teach – from our interactions in the classroom to how we grade assignments or exams. And it isn't just our own personal biases that affect our teaching – each of our students brings in their own biases that can present challenges in our courses. Participants in this workshop will be introduced to unconscious biases and their impacts, strategies to overcome them, identify their own personal biases that they may hold, and develop a plan to minimize and avoid incorporating negative biases into their teaching for future courses. Please bring a computer or tablet with you to this session.


By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  • Be able to define and identify how unconscious biases impact us as instructors
  • Be able to define and identify how unconscious biases impact our students
  • Learn strategies to prevent negative impacts of those biases in their course
  • Create a sustainable action plan of strategies they will implement in their courses next year


1:30 Welcome and introductions

1:45 What is unconscious bias? Why does it matter to us as instructors? What are the impacts?

  • Definitions [5 min]
  • Personal reflection activity: What biases may I hold? [15 min]
  • Small group discussions: How has unconscious bias personally impacted you or someone you know? [10 min]
  • Group activity: Identify ways in which your own biases could impact students in your course (positively or negatively) [15 min]
  • Overview of the literature that documents how it impacts us as instructors [15 min]

2:45 Strategies to counteract negative implicit biases

  • Large group activity [15 min]: What strategies do you already employ that would prevent unconscious biases from
    • 1) negatively affecting your students?
    • 2) negatively affecting you as an instructor?
  • Review of the Strategies to Prevent Biases in your Teaching Handout EER Strategies to Prevent Bias in Teaching.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 21kB Jul12 19) [15 min]

3:15 Creating a sustainable action plan

  • Participants will work individually to identify strategies they can implement in their own courses next year [10 min]
  • Participants will share with their groups the strategies they plan to implement and get feedback from others [25 min]

3:50 Wrap-up and evaluation

4:00 Adjourn


Project Implicit is a great place to go and understand your own biases:

MTV's Look Different Project: