M2A1_UnexpectedBias_Sanderson - An Unexpected Bias 1 An...

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An Unexpected Bias 1 An Unexpected Bias Nicole Sanderson Pima Community College Contact: [email protected]
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THE TAUGHT AND THEIR TEACHERS 2 I am a conventionally attractive, athletic, well-spoken, standard-English-speaking white girl, and therefore I am a relatively privileged person who has been mostly trusted by peers and teachers alike throughout her life. I am polite and I also work hard, so in the majority of cases during my education, I haven't felt I was the victim of bias on the part of my teachers. When it has happened to me, specifically that a teacher seemed extra critical toward me or penalized me without due explanation, partially because this happened rarely, for the most part I have been able to brush it off and not take the incidents too personally. However, one incident of being discriminated against really stands out to me and helps me relate to the feelings of confusion and frustration this treatment can cause for students. In high school I had broad interests and was awarded merit-based achievements for artistic accomplishments, athletic accomplishments and academic success. Ironically, one of my senior-year History/English teachers seemed to think that because I was talented creatively -- for example in the material arts, I therefore must not have abilities that applied to his class, which were related to history, English, giving presentations, and doing research. While those reading my description of this teacher may have already assumed this teacher was of the aged variety, he was actually a young man in his early twenties! For the life of me, I could not understand why his ongoing assumption was that as a strong arts student he must assume I was academically lazy, as I never gave him any reason to assume so. I cite here some specific examples of his behavior which illustrate this discrimination. His class was heavy on group projects, one of which I recall included researching Indian cultural history. I lead the entire
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  • Fall '15
  • Duke Ellington, Unexpected Bias

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