Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards, provides practical guidance to confronting and eliminating barriers of prejudice, misinformation, and bias. Most importantly, the book includes tips for helping staff and children respect each other, themselves and all people. Individual chapters focus on culture and language, racial identity, gender identity, economic class, family structures,different abilities, holidays, and more.
NAEYC has compiled some key information from the book and related resources and self-reflective exercises for teachers as you think about anti-bias in your everyday work as educators.
Early childhood educators have deep faith in the principle that all people deserve the opportunities and resources to fulfill their complete humanity. Moreover, we have a unique role in making this principle real, in promoting all children’s chances to thrive and to succeed in school, in work, and in life. A basic principle in early childhood work is that when educators treat children as if they are strong, intelligent, and kind, children are far more likely to behave in strong, intelligent, kind ways. They are more likely to learn and thrive and succeed. Read more from Chapter 1 of Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves.
Goal 1: Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
Goal 2: Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.
Goal 3: Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
Goal 4: Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
Read more »
The heart of anti-bias work is a vision of a world in which all children are able to blossom, and each child’s particular abilities and gifts are able to flourish. Read more »
Anti-bias education work in early childhood is shaped by a deep-seated belief in the importance of justice, the dream of each child being able to achieve all he or she is capable of, the knowledge that together human beings can make a difference. Listen to the voices of children who have experienced anti-bias education at school or at home. They give us hope and direction. Read more »
Many early childhood educators have questions about how to approach the holidays. Whether or not to include any of them in your curriculum, and what activities to use if you do, requires thoughtful decision making. Read more »
Resources from NAEYC
- Standing Together Against Suspension and Expulsion in Early Childhood - Over 30 national organizations came together to create a joint statement that amplifies and elevates the issue of suspension and expulsion in early childhood, which disproportionately affect children of color.
From Young Children
- From Our President. The Challenge to Move an Anti-Bias Agenda Toward the Future - A message from Carol Brunson Day who explains the importance of promoting a new generation of early childhood leaders while also focusing on their growth as champions of social justice.
- Moving Beyond Anti-Bias Activities: Supporting the Development of Anti-Bias Practices - This article discusses anti-bias education, a framework for anti-bias teaching, and an exploration of anti-bias topics by educators of the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School.
- Building Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: the Role of the Leader - This article is excerpted from Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change (2015) published jointly by Teachers College Press and NAEYC. The book provides a framework and detailed practical strategies for the leader’s role in working strategically with staff, families, and the community to implement an anti-bias approach.
- A Tribute to the Power of a Teacher—The Ruby Bridges Story - In this column, Carol Brunson Day looks back to the year 1960 and shows the difference one teacher can make in a child's life.
From Voices of Practitioners
- Gender Identity and Expression in the Early Childhood Classroom: Influences on Development Within Sociocultural Contexts - The author of this teacher research article describes how looking critically at gender can allow teachers to have broader perceptions and interpretations of daily classroom events, thereby allowing children more space as they develop their gender identities.
- If I Were President: Teaching Social Justice in the Primary Classroom - A primary grade teacher in inner city Chicago demonstrates how 6- and 7-year-olds can eagerly engage with difficult issues of social justice like slavery and collective action.
Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks & Julie Olsen Edwards is available for purchase in the NAEYC Store.