In reading and listening  to the material this week, various points came to mind. A similar topic that was discussed in week four regarding mindful learning came into mind again this week when discussing the “Hidden Brain”. How we go into auto-pilot mode and do not fully consider everything that goes on around us, but more importantly what we are doing or what we are subconsciously thinking as a form of unconscious bias.

A strong example that was presented was the Belle Isle Bridge in Detroit, although the analysis and discussion that the hidden brain had on the event is not thoroughly discussed the setting and details of the event raise many questions. Specifically, why didn’t any one do anything? I think such a question is still something we can ask ourselves as a gateway to start evaluating how our own hidden brain works and what we would have done if we were present that day.

Looking over Georgetown’s inclusive pedagogy site, I appreciated the fact that they stated that we all have implicit biases. And that it is important for us to be aware of them and of strategies to handle them. Additionally, further consideration of ways to implement an inclusive classroom is relevant because we must consider methods to include all students and if we are unconsciously biased against one group of students we will not truly reach an totally inclusive classroom. If a need arises where a difficult converstaion as a class must be had, it’s better to have thought about it before hand and thinking of possible alternatives instead of dealing with it on the spot.

After a dinner party with some friends this evening, this whole section resonated with me. As they shared experiences of their students pointing out “gestures” or “faces” the professors make. The idea of he hidden brain and unconscious bias really explained a lot of why we do or what we do or think what we think, as well as how much we are expressing it without realizing it.



  1. Having unconscious biases is simply part of being human. I don’t think anyone can become totally free of bias no matter how hard he tries. However, acknowledging your biases can be a step in the right direction as this allows a person to be aware of his actions and take the appropriate measures for each situation. As for the question of why no one did anything in the bridge incident, I cannot give an answer, rather I’ll give my opinion. I think having so many people watching the incident diffuses the responsibility of taking action. In other words, a person is much more likely to help if he is the only person around, as opposed to being a part of a large group.


  2. I believe that people inevitable have biases, it is human nature. However, we should aware of biases and avoid unconscious biases. We need to aware of that so that we can deal with it and handle them properly and professionally.


  3. Avoiding non-verbal reactions and body-language cues seems a pretty daunting task to me. I don’t like to be the expression-less teacher staring at my students. I think showing affirmation and encouragement, especially when the speaker is explaining something of great emotional importance is very important. And all of this requires a very keen observer mind in control of the body.


  4. The implicit biases are inevitable, but we could try to control them. You mentioned your conversation with friends, this example let me think that another good way of knowing ourselves is through talking with friends and see what they feel from our behaviors.


  5. Your “Why didn’t anyone do anything?” is a classic example of the bystander effect known in psychology. It seems that the default role many of us feel in the world is as observers, not actors, and this leads to us thinking “someone should do something” instead of doing the said thing. I think that this is actually a learned response that many of us could have picked up in school systems that had bullying issues, where standing out makes someone a target. This is where a teacher could prevent students learning that mindset by being vigilant against all kinds of abuse, both in-school and domestic.


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