Monday, May 13, 2013

Work in Progress

Sometimes the administration requires kids to attend Tolerance Club. It's not so much a punishment as an opportunity to raise their awareness... that's how we spin it, anyway.

Today one such boy attended our meeting. As our activity, we were showing the students the "Implicit Association Test." Housed at Harvard,  

"The Implicit Association Test (IAT) measures attitudes and beliefs that people may be unwilling or unable to report. The IAT may be especially interesting if it shows that you have an implicit attitude that you did not know about. For example, you may believe that women and men should be equally associated with science, but your automatic associations could show that you (like many others) associate men with science more than you associate women with science"

We like to say it reveals a bias for rather than a bias against, but it usually shows some sort of bias. Some of the tests available now are age, race, disability, sexuality, and weight. So the kid who was required to attend the meeting is clicking through and he gets to the end where his results are revealed. "I don't know what this means," he calls out, waving one of the adults over.

She looked at the screen. "Hmmm... that means that you have a bias toward people who are thin over people who are heavy."

"Well, duh!" he answered.

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