Output Education

Education Blog

Bias in Education

Bias in Education

2 October, 2016

Bias in education can denote to real or perceived bias in the educational system.

Many recent allegations against the United States have surfaced about them hiding many historical facts from the public through public education and thus luring the public to believing that the actions taken by the U.S. government are justified and provide a global benefit

Gender Bias

Gender bias in education happens in many cultures. Often educators are not aware of Gender bias.

Religion Bias

Religious bias in textbooks is often observed in countries where religion plays a dominant role.

Many countries and states have guidelines against bias in education, but they are not always implemented. The guidelines of the California Department of Education (Code 60044) state the following: “No religious belief or practice may be held up to ridicule and no religious group may be portrayed as inferior.” “Any explanation or description of a religious belief or practice should be present in a manner that does not encourage or discourage belief or indoctrinate the student in any particular religious belief.”

On the basis of these guidelines, the Board of Education of California corrected in 2005 misrepresentations of Judaism, Islam and Hinduism in schoolbooks. Many of these misrepresentations were described as biased, erroneous or culturally derogatory. All 500 changes proposed by Jews and about 100 changes proposed by Muslims were accepted, but many of the proposed changes related to Hinduism were opposed by a group led by Professor Witzel, although this group also admitted that they were unaware of the nature of the proposed changes when they wrote their protest letter on November 7, 2005.

One change that was opposed by the Witzel group was to use the word “deity” instead of statue for murthis (carved images of a God), another change that was opposed was to use upper-case “G” for God, because for Hindus there are many forms of the one god. The correction of an incorrect statement about the Hindu epics was rejected by the Witzel group with the comment: “Who in Sixth Grade cares which epic was ‘written’ first?”.

School Textbooks

The content of school textbooks is often the issue of debate, as their target audience is young people, and the term “whitewashing” is the one commonly used to refer to selective removal of critical or damaging evidence or comment. The reporting of military atrocities in history is extremely controversial, as in the case of the Holocaust (or Holocaust denial) and the Winter Soldier Investigation of the Vietnam War. The representation of every society’s flaws or misconduct is typically downplayed in favor of a more nationalist or patriotic view. Also, Christians and other religionists have at times tried to block the teaching of the theory of evolution in schools, as evolutionary theory appears to contradict their religious beliefs. In the context of secondary-school education, the way facts and history are presented greatly influences the interpretation of contemporary thought, opinion and socialization. One legitimate argument for censoring the type of information disseminated is based on the unsuitable quality of such material for the young. The use of the “inappropriate” distinction is in itself controversial, as it can be used to enforce broader and more politically motivated censorship.