The #1 call to action that San Mateo County gave to educators is to own and unlearn our own biases – biases of all kinds.
At the #Zapthegap conference held at Oracle, San Mateo County handed the stage over to Kimberly Papillon for three hours which is unprecedented in previous Zap conferences. That is how seriously they feel this topic is.
She guided the entire audience through a series of bias tests to prove to every person in the room they have bias and it has no bearing on whether or not they are a good person. Every single human ingests bias messages. You can see evidence of bias starting at 9.5 months. We ingest them from our families, communities, media.
How does bias impact education?
Our biases shape which students we relate to and how we related to them.
How kids relate to teachers and staff.
How parents relate to kids and staff.
How kids are disciplined etc.
As Kimberly Papillon said “throwing a party or potluck” is not going to help your community overcome bias. You may feel warmly towards people but feeling warmly and treating someone as a human with the same competencies as you are very different.
What made Kimberly’s talk unique is she would only quote data that had 7 or more peer-reviewed studies from 7 or more different funders and 7 or more different institutions. So this is not feel good political data.
AtGoogleTalks shared Kimberly’s visit to them so you all can get a small taste of what San Mateo County, CA educators were invited to explore on Monday.