Tag Game – Affinity Bias

School Leaders & Administrators, Teaching Staff

10-15 minutes

Demonstrate the concept of affinity bias in a simple, interactive manner that reflects on decision-making in school settings.

Increase awareness among school staff about how unconscious biases might influence their interactions with students and colleagues.

Encourage educators to reflect on their behaviours and consider the impact of these biases on student grouping, classroom dynamics, and staff interactions.

Observation, Group Discussion

Interactive Group Work, Reflective Discussion

recognise and understand affinity bias through a direct, personal experience, translating this understanding to their professional roles in education.

be better equipped to identify and mitigate unconscious biases in their interactions with students and other staff, contributing to a more inclusive school environment.

develop strategies to promote more balanced and fair interactions and decision-making processes within the school, especially in areas like student engagement, classroom management, and team collaboration.

Tag Game – Affinity Bias

School leaders and teaching staff draw different geometric shapes on sticky notes and attach them visibly on their clothing. They are then asked to naturally form groups without being told the underlying purpose of the exercise. As participants unconsciously group themselves based on the similarity of the shapes, they enact a physical representation of affinity bias.

Once everyone has formed groups, the facilitator reveals the purpose of the exercise and initiates a discussion about how such biases, although subtle and sometimes unconscious, can influence crucial decisions in schools. This can include how students are grouped for activities, how staff collaborate on projects, or how teachers interact with students.

This reflective dialogue helps participants to consider how understanding and addressing these biases can lead to a more equitable and inclusive educational environment. They are encouraged to think about practical steps they can take to consciously counteract such biases in their daily professional practices.

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