The Project

What is it?

Designed by a group of researchers supervised by the University of Reading’s Marina Della Giusta, in collaboration with Pearson Italia, CUBE is a formal training programme created to help teachers combat unconscious bias in primary schools. Based on research in the psychological, pedagogical, and economic fields, and on pilot studies carried out in both Italy and the UK, CUBE will explore how awareness of unconscious bias and suggestions of concrete actions to counter it (such as targeting classroom environments, modes of communication and feedback, and teaching unconscious bias to children) will impact on teaching practices, learning environments, and pupils’ attitudes and self-efficacy.


Discrimination, stereotyping and unconscious bias affect educational outcomes through many channels. While the social environment in which children grow explains a large part of their educational attainment, teachers are also known to influence children’s actual cognitive (attainment) and non-cognitive (behaviour, character, engagement) outcomes. Importantly, they also affect pupils’ expectations both directly, through teaching, feedback and monitoring, and indirectly, through their management of learning environments (including classroom layouts, groups formation, teaching materials, etc.).

It is important to tackle stereotypes early, as they emerge in early childhood and exposure to bias towards one’s group affects effort, self-confidence, productivity and pupils’ performance. Unconscious bias training shows potential to be a very useful and relatively inexpensive tool to reduce involuntary sources of discrimination, yet it is currently little used in education, in spite of evidence that it can affect pupils’ outcomes. CUBE aims to change that.

How does it work?

The formal training programme will take place in primary schools across Italy during the 2021-2022 school year. Participating teachers will enrol through the website and be assigned to one of our two CUBE programmes, each led by dedicated and experienced Pearson Italia trainers.

Each programme will be made up of three 2-3-hour virtual training sessions or “labs”, which will take place one in each school term. Each session will be supported by materials and activities for teachers to apply in class with their pupils. These can be accessed through the login section of the website. Teachers will also be asked to give their pupils two tests (one at the beginning and one at the end of the school year) with the aim of understanding the environment in which they carry out their teaching activities.

The hours teachers spend on the CUBE training programme will be recognised as training hours by the MIUR.

The process

Autumn Term 2021

  1. Enrolment in CUBE website
  2. Baseline paper-based pupil test administered and double marked
  3. Training Lab 1: Generative Lab (October)
  4. Activities from website to be carried out in class

Spring Term 2022

  1. Training Lab 2: Replicative Lab (January/February)
  2. Activities from website to be carried out in class

Summer Term 2022

  1. Second pupil test administered and double marked
  2. Training Lab 3: Consolidation Lab (May/June)
  3. Feedback through CUBE website and access to materials and support network
Interested in getting involved?

For more information about the project and the research behind it, please contact the CUBE team at: [email address]
Or, register today to get involved.