Implicit impact: An experimental study of subtle gender bias in undergraduate teacher candidates



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Implicit bias has been the subject of much recent research. This research has extended into education in so far as to measure the implicit biases of teachers, students, and administration. The same can be said about implicit theories of intelligence research. However, neither of these arms of research have been extended to undergraduates currently enrolled in teacher preparation programs. As they are early in their careers and development as educators, they make for a prime target of this research. The purpose of this study is to add to the current knowledge about implicit bias in teacher candidates by exploring the relationship between teacher candidates’ implicit theories of intelligence and their implicit biases toward future students. One hundred and sixteen undergraduate teacher candidates participated in this study. Results indicate while that the implicit theory of intelligence held by undergraduate teacher candidates alters the way in which they perceive their future students’ abilities and the expectations they have for student achievement, the implicit gender bias held by some participants did not. Possible explanations of the results are discussed, along with suggestions for future research.



Implicit Bias, Science Education