Channel 4’s timely new two-part documentary launched last night on Thursday, June 25th.

The School That Tried to End Racism follows as a group of Year 7 students (aged 11 to 12) explore their own racial biases, prejudices and attempt to educate themselves to be anti-racist. This comes at a time when not just the UK but the whole world is beginning a journey towards anti-racism; although The School That Tried to End Racism works on a micro-scale, it suggests how the lessons can be rolled out on a macro-scale.

One of the first things the students did was the unconscious racial bias test. This came with some surprising results for the children who already believed themselves to be actively anti-racist. It also left many viewers at home wondering if they, too, could do the test.

Find out how to take the unconscious bias test here.

Screenshot: The School That Tried to End Racism E1 – 4oD

The School That Tried to End Racism takes the test

Most of the Year 7 students claimed before taking the test that it wouldn’t matter to them what colour they were. Some even stated that the colour of your skin has no impact, with another stating it “wouldn’t make a difference if I was white or not.”

As Goldsmiths’ Dr. Nicola Rollock says, “the approach to race in this country [the UK] has generally been one of colourblindness. We pretend that we don’t see race and that racial differences don’t matter. That approach isn’t working” Dr. Rollock presided over the test with Professor Rhiannon Turner. The test is developed by researchers at Harvard University.

When the students took a test which unveiled their unconscious racial biases, it shocked the class.

  • LOCATION: Where is The School That Tried to End Racism filmed?

The test results

The students’ teacher Mr Grant revealed the results of the test to the class, while Dr. Rollock and Professor Turner listened on.

Mr Grant said:

The results showed that you have an unconscious bias and the majority of the class showed an unconscious bias towards white people.

Eighteen out of twenty-four of the students showed a significant preference for white people, two showed a black preference, and only four had neutral or no bias.

 

How to take the unconscious bias test

You can take the Harvard unconscious bias test which the students took on The School That Tried to End Racism online.

It is part of Project Implicit and is called the Implicit Assumption Test (IAT). IAT is available here.

Viewers of the Channel 4 series have taken it upon themselves to expose their own unconscious bias; so far, many of the results have mirrored that of the series.

 

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