- What is bias?
- What is educational bias?
- Types of educational bias?
- Example of educationals bias
When we talk of educational bias we first know the true meaning of the term bias. Bias means any type of discrimination made against an individual or group of people.
Bias can occur anywhere. However, when we relate it to schools and colleges, we more specifically term it as educational bias.
So, what is educational bias? Educational bias can be defined as any type of unfair treatment or discrimination meted out to an individual or group of individuals.
Many times this discrimination may not be evident or apparent. It may be subtle and done on the sly. Whichever way this discrimination occurs, it is wrong and must be subdued at the earliest.
Why is it important that educational bias must be weeded out from the roots? Educational bias must be prevented in schools and other educational institutions for the very fact that educational institutions are a temple of learning.
This temple of learning must be available to all, irrespective of religion, caste, gender, or creed. The country will prosper only with this guarantee of unbiased education to all.
Children and students are the future of tomorrow. If they are discriminated against in their institutions of learning, the result will not be a very productive future.
Therefore, it is necessary to weed out educational bias from the source.
Types of Educational Bias
There are many types of educational bias. There is no single way in which educational bias exists.
Especially in a country like India, educational bias is rampant because of the multitude of cultures, languages, and religions. Listed below are some of the types of educational bias, though it can exist in many other forms too.
1. Gender Discrimination
Topping the charts in educational bias is gender discrimination. Many times, teachers knowingly or unknowingly discriminate between boys and girls in a classroom.
Sadly, this gender discrimination is rarely opposed. Some educational bias examples based on gender discrimination can be seen where some teachers expect girls to behave better in a classroom and expect that the boys may be more playful and mischievous.
Some more educational bias examples based on gender can be seen when teachers believe that boys will be better at playing football while the sport may be too rough for the girls.
Also, many times, educational bias based on gender occurs unknowingly or unwillingly. For example, the teacher makes the girls neaten up the classroom while the boys are made to move heavy furniture and loads.
I bet this has got you thinking. You are now trying to remember various instances in your classroom when you unknowingly witnessed educational bias based on gender.
2. Textbook Educational Bias
Printed material like textbooks and journals also sometimes contributes to educational bias. For example, history lessons often portray a one-sided view of events.
It does not give a true picture of the actual situation at the time. A textbook printed in Britain may portray the great achievements of the Britishers in the colonial world without mentioning the cruelty they meted out as rulers.
While on the other hand, a textbook printed in a colonial country may portray the Britishers as inhuman and barbaric rulers.
This is an important type of educational bias that is prevalent all over the world. Many textbooks cover one-sided stories of historical events and distort facts to appease political parties and Governments. This is a rampant example of educational bias.
The most recent incident that brought to light educational bias based on gender coupled with educational bias in printed material was the CBSE class 10, English Board examination conducted on December 11, 2021.
The paper carried a comprehension passage with sentences such as “emancipation of women destroyed the parents’ authority over the children” and “it was only by accepting her husband’s way that a mother could gain obedience over the younger ones.”.
The question paper also went on to say “children and servants” were taught to “know their place.” Various excerpts from the passage have gone viral on social media, sparking a row among users.
As a result of the controversy, CBSE announced a withdrawal of the misogynistic regressive passage from the paper.
3. Educational Bias Based on Religion
Another type of educational bias is the educational bias based on religion. In a country like India, where many religions coexist, the constitution has laid down certain guidelines according to which no student or person shall be discriminated against based on religion. However, educational institutions disregard these rights.
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4. Cultural Bias
One of the types of educational bias is cultural bias. It refers to that section of people who consider themselves culturally superior or inferior to another group of people.
A school is a place where students from different cultural backgrounds meet. Undoubtedly, schools can be a hotbed for discrimination amongst students based on cultural background.
For example, in a mixed class of students from different parts of the world, a teacher may make generalized statements against a group of students from different cultural backgrounds.
The teacher may say that students from India eat hot and spicy food. Or students from Africa live in forests and hunt for their food. All these are cultural discriminations.
Another type of educational bias which is rampant in classrooms is favoritism. Many teachers may favor a particular student or group of students over others.
Why do teachers do this? Well, there could be many reasons why teachers favor some students over others.
- Personal friendship with student’s parents
- Academically brighter
- From the same hometown as the student. (could also be cultural bias)
Educational bias is something that has to be rooted out from the source. Faced with discrimination, students may become disinterested and lax.
Students’ efforts will never be appreciated because of the discrimination they face in the classrooms. Such feelings will ultimately lead to lethargy.
Therefore, Eliminate educational bias from schools and colleges. A progressive country ensures equality for all.
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