Become a skilled anti-bias teacher with this eagerly awaited updated and expanded edition of Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. This volume offers practical guidance for your journey toward confronting and eliminating barriers of prejudice, misinformation, and bias and provides tips for helping staff and children respect each other, themselves, and all people.
NAEYC promotes high-quality early learning for all children, birth through age 8, by connecting practice, policy, and research. The books it publishes advance a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession and support all who care for, educate, and work on behalf of young children. NAEYC books, which are subject to a rigorous peer-review process, guide the field of early childhood education.
The first five chapters provide a foundation for understanding ABE. Chapter 1 describes the social and political landscape of the United States that makes ABE essential to high-quality early childhood education and explains the four core anti-bias goals. Chapter 2 discusses how young children and adults are shaped by the social and political landscape described in Chapter 1. This developmental information informs the work educators do with children and with themselves. Chapters 3, 4, and 5 present the basic tools of an anti-bias learning environment: materials and curriculum that make visible and honor diversity; clarifying and brave conversations with children; and collaborative relationships with staff and families.
Being an anti-bias educator requires long-term commitment and persistence. In the final section, we offer some key strategies for keeping on keeping on. We hope these strategies answer an oft-asked question, What keeps you going? and help you begin or continue your own ABE journey.
To illuminate and bring alive the ideas and strategies in this book, the chapters are filled with true stories about children, families, and educators. The stories, some of which we have combined or compressed, are ones we have observed ourselves or collected from others in our decades of working with children and teachers. Each chapter also invites you to Stop & Think with a series of questions about your own life experiences. Self-discovery and heightened self-knowledge are essential to being an anti-bias educator. We encourage you to engage in self-reflection as you read each chapter and to share your insights with others and listen closely to their perspectives.
To the new generation of anti-bias educators who will expand, deepen, and carry on this work. And to our parents Tillie & Jack Olsen and Ann & Al Robbins. They lived and taught that respect, belief in justice, and the power of ordinary people, organized to act together, can change the world. Their work goes on.
In order for children to receive these rights, their society, their families, and those responsible for their care and education must work together to provide what each child needs to flourish. A worldwide community of anti-bias educators shares this vision. They adapt its goals and principles to their particular settings as they work with children and their families to bring these rights into being.
When teachers and families integrate the four ABE goals into teaching and childrearing and engage children in positive, informative conversations about human diversity, children develop the conviction that who they are is valued and important. When adults help children notice and address unfairness, even very young children are able to be strong and clear in standing up for themselves and others. Listen to the voices of children who have experienced ABE in their schools:
"Finding a Place for the Religious and Spiritual Lives of Young Children and Their Families: An Anti-Bias Approach" - The authors of this article offer methods teachers can use for helping children develop religious literacy as part of their anti-bias education. (Young Children, November 2019)
"Moving Beyond Anti-Bias Activities: Supporting the Development of Anti-Bias Practices" - Consider the ways in which anti-bias education can support proactive, responsive curriculum development and interactions with children. (Young Children, March 2016)
Louise Derman-Sparks, MA, has worked with children and adults in early childhood education for more than 50 years and is a faculty emerita of Pacific Oaks College. She is coauthor of several books, including Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change, Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, and Teaching/Learning Anti-Racism: A Developmental Approach.
Catherine M. Goins is assistant superintendent of Early Childhood Education for the Placer County Office of Education and adjunct faculty member at Sierra Joint Community College. She has more than 30 years of experience administering private, nonprofit, and publicly funded early education programs and speaking, coaching, and training on diversity, anti-bias education, and equity issues. Catherine currently consults as a senior policy advisor for the First 5 California Children and Families Commission.
As a teacher who has used the anti-bias goals and principles to guide my thinking for decades, I was thrilled to learn that the authors would be revising the book. Not only is this new book a resource for educators who are just beginning their journey into this lifelong work, it offers new insights and challenges for those of us who have been doing anti-bias work for years and need to be current in our thinking and actions.
On a more personal note, I am struck by the well-thought-out chapter on gender. Throughout the book and particularly in this chapter, the authors have updated not only the text but also their thinking. By doing so, they offer all of us an example of the flexible, open mindset needed to effectively do anti-bias work.
Louise and Julie thoughtfully and lovingly guide us to look through the lens in which everything in early childhood education should be viewed, push us to examine ourselves, encourage us to stop and reflect, and empower us to support children to have a positive sense of self while navigating an inequitable world. Never has this work been more important.
At the beginning of this second edition, the authors ask us directly: Why does anti-bias education matter? Because, more than ever, this work responds to the needs of our times by challenging our thinking and practices. The authors reaffirms that anti-bias work is not a passing trend, for it continues to evolve, inspire, and expand our work with children and families as well as with each other. The force of anti-bias education is a light of hope for a vision of fairness and human equity.
Educators of young children have the opportunity to create a world where each child is valued as a unique human being. This book provides specific ways to achieve this goal, which is essential to our survival in challenging times.
Just about every subject area in the typical early childhood program has possibilities for anti-bias education themes and activities. For instance, early childhood education themes of self-discovery, family, and community are deeper, and more meaningful, when they include explorations of ability, culture, economic class, gender identity, and racialized identity. So, too, issues of fairness (Goal 3) and acting for fairness (Goal 4) arise as children explore various curriculum topics.
An anti-bias education approach is not a recipe. Rather, teachers include anti-bias issues in their planning by considering the children and families they serve and the curriculum approach their program uses. Here are key questions to ask yourself as you and your colleagues plan learning activities and environments. Begin by asking yourself these questions for one or two activities a week, and see how they change what you do and how the children respond.
You do not wait for children to open up the topic of reading or numbers before making literacy and numeracy part of the daily early childhood curriculum. Because you have decided that these understandings and skills are essential for children, you provide literacy and numeracy discussions and activities in your classroom. A balance between child-initiated and teacher-initiated activities is as vital in anti-bias education as in any other part of the early childhood curriculum. 2b1af7f3a8