HARTFORD–This year’s budget implementer bill, clocking in at 241 pages, includes intent to produce a video training module for teachers, as follows:
“§§ 381-383 — IMPLICIT BIAS AND ANTI-BIAS TRAINING VIDEO
MODULE — Requires SDE, by July 1, 2022, to develop an implicit bias and anti-bias video training module for school district personnel who hire teachers; requires board of education employees involved in, or responsible for, hiring teachers to complete the training starting on July 1, 2023.
The act requires SDE, in consultation with the Minority Teacher Recruitment Policy Oversight Council and the State Education Resource Center, to develop a video training module for school district personnel involved in, or responsible for, hiring teachers. The training module must focus on implicit bias and anti-bias in the hiring process and be developed and available by July 1, 2022.
For each school year beginning with the one starting on July 1, 2023, the act requires any board of education employee who is involved in, or responsible for, hiring teachers to complete this training module before participating in the teacher hiring process.
The act also adds the video training module to the required in-service training program that school districts must provide for teachers, administrators, and pupil personnel. It must be included in the culturally responsive pedagogy and practice training that is part of a statutory list of training topics.”
Culturally responsive pedagogy was promoted in 2016 in an Edvocate article, which stated that “Given that a majority of teachers hail from a middle class European-American background, the biggest obstacle to successful culturally responsive instruction for most educators is disposing of their own cultural biases and learning about the backgrounds of the students that they will be teaching.”
The article there doesn’t state exactly what they mean by “cultural bias” or “cultural realities” — is it language? Is it religious customs? Is it economic systems? For years, schools seemed to promote unity amidst multi-culturalism, how we were all part of one big happy whole. Now, it seems, their tune has changed.
Training oneself to be more and more (and more) sensitive to every micro-emotion, every glance, every shade of skin color, every pronoun, every “I identify as” — is that increasing our good? Does it improve our own mental health? Those promoting all of the training, and getting paid to do it no less … have not bothered to ask themselves those questions.