Humans in general – and Indians specifically – are pretty opinionated beings. Strong opinions can lead to biased thinking, whether intentionally or subconsciously. After careful observation of classroom teaching and certain e-learning platforms, we have compiled a list of the most painfully evident biases that exist in our nation’s educational practices.
The educational divide between Indian men and women is enormous, with an 18% gap in average literacy rate between genders. Take the example of elective courses offered in most schools; while boys tend to pick physical education courses, girls are often categorized in home science. Teachers need to encourage students to take part in new courses, regardless of gender stereotypes.
Platforms for online study do much better in this regard, as online anonymity provides students with an unbiased path to education.
Whether it presents itself in the form of language barriers or religion, cultural bias still exists in most rural areas of our nation. But it needs to be remembered that illiteracy breeds ignorance and the only way to combat it, is through education. Online courses bring education right to your doorstep, addressing the gap in literacy across rural areas.
There are two major types of intelligence bias amongst mentors, both online and in-class.
- The first type of intelligence bias can be seen in a teacher’s attitude towards underperforming students. These students are treated as lost cases, and teachers choose to divert focus to brighter students instead. But the converse of this is also true, where gifted students are deprived of attention due to the thinking that ‘they will be able to overcome obstacles themselves’.
- The second type of intelligence bias presents itself as a teacher’s ego. Mentors must be able to handle criticism from students. When a student corrects you in class, it needs to be addressed openly. Most often teachers will shrug off suggestions, thinking they know better than their students. An open classroom permits learning from both sides.
A bad student is only as bad as you make him/her out to be. The reason students need to resort to online tutoring is that their teachers are unable to get through to them, or are simply unwilling to. We believe there is no such thing as bad students, just students waiting to be taught correctly.
While the next point is not a bias per se, it is something that can lead to bias in e-learning and classroom teaching.
Misinformation / Fake News
Information is power, but misinformation is doom. There are close to infinite sources of information in today’s digital world, and not all of them are accurate. But this problem is not specific to e-learning only, even classroom learning can be affected by the spread of fake news and rumors. Teach students to analyze sources for reliability and to not blindly believe whatever they read.
DIGICHAMPS provides a bias-free e-learning platform and dedicated personal mentors to give students the push they need to achieve their ambitions. Find out more on their site at https://thedigichamps.com