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ERIC Number: EJ1304663
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
Using Mind-Body Practices to Uproot Unconscious Bias in the Education Profession
Elliott, Niki
AILACTE Journal, spec iss p133-156 2021
Many professional development sessions focused on antiracism have become spaces of defensiveness and opposition to the methods and language used to engage participants, particularly those of the dominant culture. School administrators have reported that many staff either refuse to attend, avoid participation in the space, or even walk out of trainings when directly challenged to discuss anti-racism. Utilizing polyvagal theory as a grounding framework (Porges, 2017), this point of view paper explores why confrontational approaches to equity work are often unsuccessful at producing a long-term transformation of white educators' mindsets and behaviors. The author offers a description of lessons learned from implementing a mindfulness-based approach to uprooting unconscious bias that centralizes the primary need for felt-safety and empathy among all participants engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings. This healing-centered approach to equity work offers a glimpse at what is possible for the field, and points the way toward moving the needle on critical conversations about embodied experiences of bias and racism in schools.
Association of Independent Liberal Arts Colleges for Teacher Education. 1903 Princeton Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55105. Tel: 651-690-8949; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A