Watching the live reporting of the attempted coup on January 6th, 2021, I was thinking about two things: racial inequities in policing, and bias in the word choice used to report collective actions. This blog focuses on word choice, and how we can teach students to listen and read critically for bias.
In this blog post, I invite readers to back up from the K-12 context and reflect on how we connect and collaborate in our own lives. And in a pandemic, how we build connections that matter when we are miles apart and limited to digital tools.
Enjoy and share this video with a comforting message to families in sixteen languages.
We have high expectations. We actively engage students. We observe to take notes on what they say and do. We are feeling on top of our formative data-gathering game!
Then, brain science enters the equation with humbling news: We don’t always see what’s right in front of us. This is especially true when we have implicit biases—which, as humans, we always do. We have all been conditioned by false narratives about racial difference, language hierarchies, and gender differences—whether we believe them or not.
To get good observation data, we have to shift from traditional methods (like lectures and silent testing) to challenging, open-ended, collaborative tasks that actively engage students in processing and applying the new learning. If our learning is sit-and-get, there is nothing to observe but student behaviors of either compliance or disruption.