Commitment to Culturally Relevant – Developmentally Appropriate Anti-Bias Education

Gretchen’s House is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in our educational practices. We strive to model and foster the four goals of anti-bias education:

  1. Identity. Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social/group identities.
  2. Diversity. Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity, accurate language for human differences, and deep, caring human connections.
  3. Justice. Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness (injustice), have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
  4. Activism. Each child will demonstrate a sense of empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.

Derman-Sparks & Edwards (2010)

Children learn in concrete ways about the larger world around them through the relationships they are building each day with classmates. A meaningful understanding of the diverse world begins with the children:

  • Learning about their own family’s cultures and traditions
  • Learning about the backgrounds of others
  • Seeing themselves, their families, and their communities represented throughout the center
  • Being routinely exposed to actives, materials, and concrete experiences that challenge stereotypes
  • Learning to enjoy, appreciate, and seek out differences
  • Discovering that there are usually a variety of ways to solve a problem or complete a task, and understanding that harassment and intolerance are never acceptable.

To meet those goals we have created an Anti-Bias Work group and Anti-Bias Curriculum group. Our Anti-Bias Work group meets quarterly to examine our current anti-bias practices, celebrate what we do well and make plans for any improvements. The group includes Gretchen’s House administrators, teachers and parents.

Our Anti-Bias Curriculum group meets every other week to discuss specific supports to promote the anti-bias goals in every classroom learning environment. They have created an anti-bias focused lesson plan template for all age groups as well as sample lesson plans teachers can use to explore topics that arise in their classrooms.

You can find more information about the importance of Anti-Bias education in early childhood settings through Teaching for Change and NAEYC.