An anti-bias program puts diversity and equity goals at the center of all aspects of its organization and daily life. It involves much more than adding new materials and activities into the already existing learning environment. Rather, broad systemic changes are necessary.
With this is mind, please reflect on how you can be a part of this systemic change within your current role in early childhood education?
How has your social identity, as described in Chapter 1, affected where you are on your anti-bias journey?
"Collaborative leaders exercise power with, rather than power on, staff and families."
How can leaders of early childhood programs work with various educational stakeholders to develop and sustain an anti-bias "community of learners"?
Reflect on a time when you "[pushed] what-is to the what might be…". How did your own critical self-reflection inform your eventual action steps in that situation?
With this is mind, please reflect on how you can be a part of this systemic change within your current role in early childhood education?Because we teach the youngest of learners and their families, I feel we play a critical role in creating systemic change by teaching children (and their families) to listen and respect each other no matter their gender, race, religion, or other social identifiers.
How has your social identity, as described in Chapter 1, affected where you are on your anti-bias journey?I grew up in a white, Jewish household rooted in social justice values. This influences how I talk about these issues with children and families in the classroom. I am constantly learning by listening to my parents' views on these topics for curriculum purposes.
How can leaders of early childhood programs work with various educational stakeholders to develop and sustain an anti-bias "community of learners"?I believe the key is listening. We must listen to our parents in our programs. We must listen to our students in our programs. We must listen to the staff members in our programs.
Reflect on a time when you "[pushed] what-is to the what might be…". How did your own critical self-reflection inform your eventual action steps in that situation?This year I have a child in my classroom whose mother is white and whose father is black (Haitian). When we approached lessons on Martin Luther King, Jr., I mistakenly thought that this would be a great opportunity for the children to learn in a developmentally appropriate way about the history of blacks and whites in our country and MLK's dream for peace and unity among us all. After the lesson, the mother of this child spoke to me that she did not want her children (she has an older son as well) to even know the terms black and white and that people are just people. She also spoke about how her children are just as much white as they are black. This helped me reflect on how I speak about race in the classroom and that not every child who has black ancestry has a family that wants to take on this cause. In the future, I hope to have conversations with parents before presenting such lessons so that I can include their voices and tailor my lessons to my community.
In chapter 3, the authors talk about opportunities ("any factor that has the potential to fuel a program's anti-bias mission") and obstacles ("a factor that can slow, complicate or even stall shifting the program culture"). What opportunities for anti-bias work do you see in the programs you are a part of? What obstacles do you see?
How do you make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities for anti-bias work? What has helped you surmount obstacles?
In chapter 4 the authors talk about "creating a climate for taking risks" as an essential element for creating an anti-bias program. Have you experienced a good climate for taking risks in early childhood programs you've been a part of? How do leaders successfully create that kind of climate?
The authors tell us; "The foundation for working with families begins with a willingness to engage in reciprocal partnerships". What kinds of actions help build a sense of partnership with families in ECE programs?
Good anti-bias education requires us to live with a certain amount of discomfort as we learn about new things and grow. How do we create an atmosphere in which parents are willing to engage in uncomfortable conversations, with each other and with us?
All of us start our anti-bias journey at different places and progress at our own pace. How can ECE leaders set up programs so each person gets support to grow and move forward- starting from where they actually are and moving forward as fast as they are able to?
Working effectively with families across cultures, family configurations and other key differences in identity can be challenging for some teachers. What can directors, coaches and other ECE leaders do to help teachers feel more confident as they learn to relate well with families that are different from them?