Author:
Beth Powers
Subject:
Education
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Level:
College / Upper Division
Tags:
  • Anti-bias Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Professional Development
  • Teacher Education
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Interactive

    Exploring and Implementing Anti-Biased Principals in Early Childhood Education with Pre-service and In-service Teachers

    Exploring and Implementing Anti-Biased Principals in Early Childhood Education with Pre-service and In-service Teachers

    Overview

    In 1989, Louise Derman-Sparks, Lousie Derman Sparks published her groundbreaking book on Anti-Bias Education: Tools for Empowering Young Children. Subsequently, she co-authored Anti-Bias Education for Young Children  and Ourselves and updated it in 2020 with Patricia Ramsey. The module is focused on the four main tenets of Anti-Bias Early Childhood Education, as set forth by Derman-Sparks and Ramsey. These are: a) Identity, b) Diversity, c) Justice, and d) Activism. 

    The goal of this module is to provide a resource for early childhood teacher educators to facilitate their student’s exploration of Anti-Bias Education in Early Childhood Education. This curriculum may also be useful to early childhood professionals who provide professional development for in-service early childhood educators and caregivers (I.e. public and private early education and care providers including but not limited to Head Start teachers, home care providers, after school program instructors, etc.). 


     

    Exploring and Implementing Anti-Biased Principals in Early Childhood Education with Pre-service and In-service Teachers

    Description

    Overview: Exploring and Implementing Anti-Biased Principals in Early Childhood Education with Pre-service and In-service Teachers (Version 1)

    This module discusses the history, primary tenets, and criticisms of Anti-Bias Education in Early Childhood Education. Although this content may be useful for all levels of education and experience, it likely will be most useful for early childhood teacher educators and professional development providers. 

     

    Subject: Education, Social Science Level: College / Upper Division 

    Material Type: Lecture Notes and Hands-on Activities for Early Childhood Education Students

    Author: Beth Powers, Ph.D.  

    Date Added: 8/2/22

    License: 

    Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike, CC BY-NC-SA

     

    Language: English

    Exploring and Implementing Anti-Biased Principals in Early Childhood Education with Pre-service and In-service Teachers

     

    *All hyperlinks are cited at the end of this document to ensure access.

     

     

    Image by Prashant Sharma for Pixabay

     

    Introduction: 

     

    In 1989, Louise Derman-Sparks, Lousie Derman Sparks published her groundbreaking book on Anti-Bias Education: Tools for Empowering Young Children. Subsequently, she co-authored Anti-Bias Education for Young Children  and Ourselves and updated it in 2020 with Patricia Ramsey. The module is focused on the four main tenets of Anti-Bias Early Childhood Education, as set forth by Derman-Sparks and Ramsey. These are: a) Identity, b) Diversity, c) Justice, and d) Activism. 

     

    The Anti-Bias curriculum in early childhood education is both a philosophy and pedagogical model that can guide educators to ensure that young children respect themselves and one another. According to Teaching for Change (2022, p. 1)

     

    Anti-bias curriculum is an approach to early childhood education that sets forth values-based principles and methodology in support of respecting and embracing differences and acting against bias and unfairness. Anti-bias teaching requires critical thinking and problem solving by both children and adults.

     

    While there have been criticisms of this method (Escayg, 2019), it does provide a good starting point for early childhood educators to consider ways to ensure that their students can value both themselves and others. Moreover, it is important for both inservice and preservice early childhood educators to explore, understand, and critically reflect on these ideas so that they can expand their own perceptions and ways of enacting effective teaching practices. Likewise, it is critical for early childhood educators to learn about both the progress we have made and the possibilities for future growth in our field in order to serve all children well.

     

    The goal of this module is to provide a resource for early childhood teacher educators to facilitate their student’s exploration of Anti-Bias Education in Early Childhood Education. This curriculum may also be useful to early childhood professionals who provide professional development for in-service early childhood educators and caregivers (I.e. public and private early education and care providers including but not limited to Head Start teachers, home care providers, after school program instructors, etc.). 

     

    First Steps:

     

    1. Reflect:

     

    You can use the following prompts as a pre and post reflection for exploring this topic. Ask students to consider and respond to the following prompts. For example,  you can use them in a written, an oral format, or a combination of the two. 

    1. What is Anti-Bias Education? 

    2. How, if at all, does it relate to early childhood education?

    3. How,if at all, does Anti-Bias education relate to our roles as teachers?

    4. How, if at all, can effective Anti-Bias Education impact the experiences and education of and for young children?

    5. What questions do you have?

    6. Do you have anything else to add? 

    Watch and Reflect:

     

    Bias Isn't Just A Police Problem, It's A Preschool Problem | Let's Talk | NPR

     

    Ask students to:

     

    1. What were the main points of the video?

    2. What is Bias?

    3. Why is Bias a “Preschool Problem”?

    4. Why is this important for Early Childhood Educators to understand what Bias is and What they can or should do about it in their own classrooms.

    5. Do they have anything else to add?

     

    After writing, students can respond to one another’s responses orally or they can do so on the Discussion Board if the class is asynchronous.

     

    Watch:

     

    Watch the Free Youtube Video titled: Anti Bias Curriculum

     

    This free video from Youtube was created in 1990. It is likely that your students will believe that this video is “dated” but it is important that you and your students consider the ideas in this video in relation to how Anti-Bias Education was initially framed, what are key ideas that are still relevant today, and what areas we can expand upon. After you explore. You can ask students to work in small groups to address the following:

     

    1. Select a key quote or idea from the film that resonated with you and share with your peers to discuss why this idea stuck with you. 

    2. How do the ideas in this film relate to your own beliefs of teaching and learning?

    3. What did you disagree with or think needed more description and/or detail and why?

    4. What questions do you still have?

    Review:

    The National Association of Education for Young Children (NAEYC), published Derman-Sparks and her colleagues publications. It is highly recommended that you and your students explore the NAEYC website related to the work of Derman-Sparks and her colleagues. A good place to start is by reviewing the summary of the Young Child Article by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards titled “Understanding Anti-Bias Education: Bring the Four Goals to Every Facet of the Curriculum”. Although, reading the full article is highly recommended, this brief summary describes the four main tenets of Anti-Bias Curriculum and helps the reader consider goals for themselves as educators and their current or future students. In the following section, each of the tenets are cited directly along with a goal for teachers and children. 

     

    Goal 1: Identity

    •  Teachers will nurture each child’s construction of knowledgeable, confident, individual personal and social identities.

    •  Children will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.

     

    Goal 2: Diversity

    •  Teachers will promote each child’s comfortable, empathetic interaction with people from diverse backgrounds.

    •  Children will express comfort and joy with human diversity, use accurate language for human differences, and form deep, caring connections across all dimensions of human diversity.

     

    Goal 3: Justice

    •  Teachers will foster each child’s capacity to critically identify bias and will nurture each child’s empathy for the hurt bias causes.

    •  Children will increasingly recognize unfairness (injustice), have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.

     

    Goal 4: Activism

    •  Teachers will cultivate each child’s ability and confidence to stand up for oneself and for others in the face of bias. 

    •  Children will demonstrate a sense of empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.

     

     

     Engaging in the Four Goals with Students

     

     Some other ways to engage with these goals with students are to ask students to:

    1. Engage in a simple K-W-L (Know, Want to Know, Learn) chart to document their own learning throughout your exploration of this topic. While this is a simple and sometimes overused tool, in this case it can help to serve as a graphic organizer to help students organize and reflect on their learning.

    2. Reflect on the objectives for teachers and make connections between their own schooling experiences when their own teachers either enacted these ideals or didn’t do a very good job doing so. 

    3. Create lesson plans and/or student centered activities that relate to them to objectives for children

    4. Create an annotated bibliography on one of the tenets that includes: a) peer-reviewed research, b) a brief summary of main ideas, and c) a balanced critique of the author/s main assertions.

    5. Divide into equal groups of four and assign one of the tenants to each group and 

    6. Work with a small group of  peers to consider how each of the elements relate to one another and then ask them to represent the relationship in an artistic product (e.g. drawing, model, poem, song, theater piece, etc.).

    7. Explore children’s literature that will enable them to explore Anti-Bias ideas with children

    8. Divide class in four equal groups. Each of the four groups will consider one of the four principals. If the class is in person or in real time via an online platform, then you can ask the groups to frame a “debate” why their chosen principal is more relevant than the others. Of course, they are all related so following this activity it is important to discuss how these ideas are related.

    9. Ask students to engage in a web quest to explore each of the key ideas. 

    10. Engage in an action research project related to one of the four tenants  (This would be appropriate for students who are in field placements or are practicing teachers).

     

    These are but a few ways you can explore these ideas with your pre-service or inservice teachers. If you have additional ideas please feel free to share them in the comments or suggestions to improve these ideas please feel free to share them in the comments.

     

    Resources

     

    For additional information and exploration. Please refer to:

     

    Derman-Sparks, LeeKeenan, D., & Nimmo, J. (2022). Anti-Bias Leaders in Early

    Childhood Education: A Guide to Change with Louise Derman-Sparks, Debbie

    LeeKeenan, and John Nimmo. https://www.antibiasleadersece.com

    This website has a free video and resource guide that can be used for professional development purposes but please make sure to cite their great work, purchase their materials if you are able, and contact them with any questions. 

     

    References:

    Derman-Sparks, L. (1989). Anti-bias curriculum: Tools for empowering young children.

     National Association for the Education of Young Children, 1834 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009-5786.

    Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O. (2019). Understanding Anti-Bias Education:

    Bringing the Four Core Goals to Every Facet of Your Curriculum. YC Young Children, 74(5), 6–13. https://www.jstor.org/stable/26842300

    Derman-Sparks, LeeKeenan, D., & Nimmo, J. (2022). Anti-Bias Leaders in Early

    Childhood Education: A Guide to Change with Louise Derman-Sparks, Debbie

    LeeKeenan, and John Nimmo. https://www.antibiasleadersece.com

    Escayg, K. A. (2019). “Who’s got the power?”: A critical examination of the anti-bias

    curriculum. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 13(1), 1-18. 

    https://ijccep.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40723-019-0062-9

    NAEYC. (2022). Anti-Bias Resources. https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/anti-bias

    N.A. (2022). Bias Isn't Just A Police Problem, It's A Preschool Problem | Let's Talk |

    NPR.  https://youtu.be/ucEAcIMkS0c