Anti-Bias Curriculum
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Originally Created by Louise DermanSparks and the A.B.C. Task Force
(1989)
Additional information infused by Pam
Guerra-Schmidt
Revised Feb. 22, 2012
Origin of Anti-Bias
Approach
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Multiculturalism
– Learn basic facts about different cultures Not infused through
year but on specific days-tourist approach
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Born from multicultural movement; some felt not enough
to address social problems in education
– Wanted to explore the whys:
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Why only some cultures represented (sometimes mostly focused on
art, dress, food and not origin, so knowledge may be more
superficial)
Why people of certain ethnicities and classes may have greater
challenges in the area of social advantages (homes, cars, etc.),
higher education
Origin/Anti-Bias
Approach
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Credit – works of Louise Derman-Sparks &
ABC Task Force, Washington DC: National
Association for the Education of Young
Children
Focus – social and cultural context in which
children grow and learn
Work-provides a foundation:
– Understanding how children acquire bias
– Offers teachers strategies for countering this
developing bias
Equity
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Describes the goal of a movement to
ensure a fair share of resources
The goal of cultural-equity organizing
is to redress and correct historic
imbalances
Social Justice
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Refers to a worldview that calls for
equality of consideration for all
members of a society (see slide with
diversity concepts)
Recognizes inalienable rights and
adheres to what is fair, honest, and
moral.
What children know
about differences
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Children are aware of differences in color, language, gender, and
physical ability at a very young age.
Numerous research studies about the process of identity and attitude
development conclude that children learn by observing the
differences and similarities among people and by absorbing the
spoken and unspoken messages about those differences.
The biases and negative stereotypes about various aspects of human
diversity prevalent in our society undercut all children's healthy
development and ill-equip them to interact effectively with many
people in the world.
Consequently, anti-bias curriculum seeks to nurture the development
of every child's fullest potential by actively addressing issues of
diversity and equity in the classroom.
Diversity
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The dimensions of differences found in
groups of people
People create inaccurate assumptions about
a group which leads to:
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Stereotyping
Prejudice
Discrimination
Unfair treatment
Negative attitudes
Diversity Concepts
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Gender
Race and Ethnicity
Language
Economic Class
Religion/Spiritual
Beliefs
Family
Immigration Status
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Age
Sexual Orientation
Physical
Characteristics
Physical Abilities
Culture
Body Size
Education
Acceptance of Diversity
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“instead of differences being viewed
as negative, they are seen as
strengths, adding more flavor to life,
allowing all to contribute in unique
ways” (All About ITERS-R, p. 299).
What is Needed for
Anti-bias Approach
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Belief in the value of human diversity and
the fair treatment of all people prerequisite for doing anti-bias work.
Motivation to raise awareness of bias and
reduce bias.
Four Goals of Anti-Bias
Approach
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Goal 1: Nurture the construction of a
knowledgeable, confident identity as an
individual and as a member of multiple
cultural groups (such as gender, race,
ethnicity, or class.)
- Materials in a classroom; black paints on easel,
dolls of at least 3 races
– No non-sexist images: go beyond historical or
traditional roles
– Staff use some words in different languages to
talk about routines
– Music from various cultures
Goals-continued
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Goal 2: Promote comfortable, empathetic
interaction with people from diverse
backgrounds.
– Classroom Ideas:
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Items are seen in the room most of the time.
Going beyond December or February: Discussion of holidays
take place all year long and covers many celebrations-not
just the dominate culture’s holidays.
Integration of topics through out the room, discussions, and
lesson-plans
Classroom activity: looking at common holidays
celebrated in elementary school.
Findings of Classroom Activity/Fond
childhood memories and what was
important
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Party
Families join classroom, honoring parents or
adult caregivers
Break routine-laid back school day
Promote learning to give and share
Forgiveness, be thankful
Start of a tradition, cook, prepare home,
children included
Fun, exciting, crafts, treats cookies,
cupcakes, costumes, gifts, parades
Four Goals of Anti-bias
Approach (continued)
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Goal 3: Foster each child’s ability to recognize
bias and injustice.
– Children learn it’s okay to say, “That‘ not fair.” Teachers
& classmates open to discussion.
Puppet shows with persona dolls
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Goal 4: Cultivate each child’s ability to stand up,
individually and with others, against bias or
injustice
– Children-”Boys can’t play here” or “Girls can’t play here.”
(Other isms – body size, family make-up, race, age,
religion, disabilities, etc.)
Both Philosophy and a
Curriculum
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Components addressed in the curriculum
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Problem-solving and Integrated Approach
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Basic Ideas & Goals of the Curriculum
1.
2.
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knowledgeable and confident self-identity.
empathetic interactions
critical thinking about bias.
ability to stand up
Discovering A Learner
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Phase 1: “I” Phase (child phase)
– Make the children feel apart of the room. Things
that are about them
– Example: New pictures
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Phase 2: Family Phase
– Introduce children to the other cultures that are
in their rooms
– It introduces them to the other cultures that are
in their neighborhood
Discovering A Learner
(continued)
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Phase 3: Community Phase
– Bring the community that the child lives
in into the classroom and family
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Phase 4: A Worldview
– Introduce cultures outside of the child’s
community – city, state
Material Selection Caution
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Don’t teach token diversity
– More than one
– Why is it there?
– Make the item an important part of the room and not just
an item to admire
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Don’t substitute images and information
about people in other countries for life in
the U.S. (see pictures next slide)
Don’t show only images of a group from the
past, even though they may be easier to
find than contemporary images.
Examine and Review: Materials to
Show Racial Diversity
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Pictorial material
– Pictures and Photos
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Toys
Printed Material
Visual Material
– Videos and Computer Software
Examine and Review: Materials to
Show Cultural Diversity
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Traditions of different groups are represented
Pictorial material
– Pictures and Photos
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Toys
– Male and Female: Toys, Dolls, and Clothing
– Disability/Ability: Wheelchair/Glasses and Nontraditional gender
roles
– Food selection (real or play)
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Printed Material
– Books showing cultural celebrations
– Family setting
– Fabrics
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Audio-visual Material
– Genre, Culture
Traditional Representation
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Traditional Costumes can cause
stereotypes
Children with disabilities cannot function
well
Always showing older people in
weaker roles--Miss Tizzy
Lessons in Prejudice
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Staff do not ignore any prejudice
observed—Anti-Bias Curriculum
Awareness of possible prejudice
– Language differences (ie Farsi)
– Disability
– Racial or ethnic
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Immediate action: serious attention or
can become apart of lesson planning
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Anti-Bias Curriculum - Pam Guerra