Skip to Main Content

Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression: Anti-Bias Education

"Implicit Bias" - Teaching and Learning in a Diverse Classroom

Implicit bias, or unconscious bias, refers to subtle cognitive processes of forming judgments that happen so fast that they often operate below conscious awareness and can be based on stereotypes or unexamined and limited assumptions about what constitutes “typical.” Dasgupta and Stout (2014) describe how everyone is vulnerable to such biases as they are by-products of normal mental processes such as memory, perception, and learned associations. And, such implicit bias can lead to unintentional errors and subtle (or not so subtle) patterns of discrimination without individual awareness or control. The cost of not paying attention to implicit bias disadvantages individuals who are impacted by them, creating unfair obstacles for learning and thriving and allowing systemic disadvantages to continue unchecked.

Content from Teaching & Learning in the Diverse Classroom, used under CC BY license

Critical Practices

While anti-basis education has its foundation in the K-12 curriculum, strategies that form this framework can be incorporated into college classrooms and andragogical practices. The following represent relevant principles from Teaching Tolerance's Critical Practices for Anti-Bias Education:

  1. Critical engagement with material
  2. Differential instruction
  3. Cooperative and collaborative learning
  4. Real-world connections
  5. Values-based assessment, evaluation, and grading
  6. Honoring student experiences
  7. Thoughtful classroom setup and structure
  8. Social and emotional safety
  9. Values-based behavior management
  10. Self-awareness and cultural competency
  11. Speaking up and responding to prejudice, bias, and stereotypes
  12. Building alliances
  13. Leading beyond the classroom
  14. Ongoing reflection and learning

Learn more at

Learn More

Jackson, Sarah M., Amy L. Hillard, and Tamera R. Schneider. "Using implicit bias training to improve attitudes toward women in STEM." Social Psychology of Education 17, no. 3 (2014): 419-438.

Dasgupta, Nilanjana, and Jane G. Stout. "Girls and women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: STEMing the tide and broadening participation in STEM careers." Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1, no. 1 (2014): 21-29.

Gooblar, David. "Yes, you have implicit biases, too." Chronicle of Higher Education (2017). 

Pritlove, Cheryl, Clara Juando-Prats, Kari Ala-Leppilampi, and Janet A. Parsons. "The good, the bad, and the ugly of implicit bias." The Lancet 393, no. 10171 (2019): 502-504.

Sukhera, Javeed, and Chris Watling. "A framework for integrating implicit bias recognition into health professions education." Academic Medicine 93, no. 1 (2018): 35-40.

Staats, C., K. Capatosto, L. Tenney, and S. Mamo. "State of the Science: Implicit Bias Review 2017 edition." The Ohio State University, Kirwan Institute (2017).

Uhlmann, Eric Luis, and Geoffrey L. Cohen. "Constructed criteria: Redefining merit to justify discrimination." Psychological Science 16, no. 6 (2005): 474-480.


  • URL:
  • Last Updated: Nov 11, 2021 11:48 AM
  • Print Page