Bias, Stereotypes and Trust

Actionable intelligence for teachers dealing with bullying in the classroom!!! Teachers, do not become bullies yourself.

A recently published study of minority youth came out and it has some very interesting lessons we all should learn.

It turns out that kids notice when they aren’t being treated fairly and if happens repeatedly they lose trust in authority – for good reason.

When you deal with bullying, if they don’t feel that you have treated them fairly – they will start to lose their trust in you. Is it any wonder that so few report what is happening?

Given that minority kids are referred at higher rates then their white counter parts (in my county – they are 3 times as likely to be referred), we need to start realizing the long term damage we may be doing when we try to deal with behavior problems.

Part of how we respond has to do with our implicit biases. The antidote? Ggoing out of your way to express trust and that you don’t see them as a stereotype – it goes a LONG way. Kids who feel trusted have fewer problems, according to the research.

“Youth of color enter middle school aware that majority groups could view them stereotypically,” notes Valerie Purdie-Vaughns, associate professor of psychology at Columbia University, who coauthored the study. “But when teachers surprise them with an early experience that conveys that they are not being seen in terms of stereotypes, but rather respected, it creates trust and may set in motion a positive cycle of expectations.”

If you are a teacher there are 2 things I want you to learn.
1) How to stop bullying using behavioral science
2) How to uncover and control your hidden biases.

And as always, learn this, use it and pass it on. Let’s create a revolution. Share this knowledge with others.