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NFHS Learning Center Adds Course on “Implicit Bias”

By NFHS on March 15, 2021 nfhs news Print

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has launched “Implicit Bias” – a new free course offering produced in collaboration with Project Implicit through the online NFHS Learning Center.

In contrast to explicit biases, which are the overt thoughts and actions that impact perception, decision-making and behavior, the “Implicit Bias” course focuses on the more subtle, automatic reactions toward other people generated from past learning and expectations. In many cases, people don’t know they have implicit biases, leading to unintentional discrimination based on factors such as race, gender, disability and sexuality that continue to have implications for understanding disparities in society.

"The NFHS is pleased to offer the Implicit Bias course as part of its ongoing effort to provide educational resources in the important areas of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “We are grateful to the Project Implicit team at Harvard for their collaboration, guidance and quick work to bring this course to fruition.”

Sections of the course, which as launched March 8, address how to measure implicit biases using the Implicit Association Test – a mechanism for evaluating how strongly different concepts are linked together in the mind – as well as how to manage implicit biases and stop them from influencing behavior. Among the strategies for counteracting implicit biases are initiating positive contact with different groups of people, seeking a diverse collection of role models, and monitoring the consumption of various media and cultural materials.

“The information in this course is so important and will bring value to all who take it,” said Dan Schuster, NFHS director of educational services. “We were so fortunate to work with the foremost experts on the subject, Project Implicit, and are thrilled to provide the opportunity for people across the country to take this much-needed course.”

Project Implicit, the NFHS’ partner in developing the course, is a nonprofit organization with a stated mission of educating the public about bias and providing a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the internet. The organization is committed to using these resources to challenge organizational and institutional disparities.

"When we are aware of our potential ‘blind spots’ and how they can affect our interactions with others, we can initiate changes at both an individual and organizational level,” said Amy Jin Johnson, executive director of Project Implicit. “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with NFHS to share this important information through this introductory course.”

For more information and to take “Implicit Bias” on the NFHS Learning Center, please visit: https://nfhslearn.com/courses/implicit-bias.

To learn more about Project Implicit, visit: https://www.projectimplicit.net.

After starting with two courses – “Fundamentals of Coaching” and “First Aid, Health and Safety” – in 2007 through the former NFHS Coach Education Program, the NFHS Learning Center now offers 81 online courses – 55 of which are free. More than 12 million courses have been taken since the inception of the program, and courses are now available to students, coaches, parents, administrators, officials and performing arts/educators.