How Could We Fight Our Own Bias
|Above copied from CNN|
If what we see in kindergarten predicts what we will see in the future then the obvious conclusion is that nothing is happening in between. Schools apparently do not matter. But are we not trying to teach children in our classrooms? We have been long made aware of the difference between fixed and growth mindsets. Children can learn. What they are in kindergarten should not decide what they will be in the future. Yet, we still see a strong correlation between the early years of basic education and later outcomes. What is going wrong?
We see gaps showing up early in education, but we really do not do anything about it. Oftentimes, we actually propagate the gap. We strongly count on our instincts and our first impressions. We frequently rely on how little we know in extrapolating what we think will happen. It is simply a self-fulfilling prophecy because we never think of what we really ought to do to address properly the gaps that we see. Social and emotional abilities like cognitive abilities can be taught. We can, first of all, model these. Yet, when we see a child who is causing trouble, we resort to punitive measures that do not really help the child develop these noncognitive abilities. This is the real reason why there is a correlation between how a child behaves in kindergarten and how that child behaves after so many years. We are simply not doing anything and we are in fact propagating our bias. The study is not so much how well kindergarten scores correlate with adult life. The study is more about how we are failing our children.