Developing and Teaching an Anti-Bias Curriculum in a K-5 School: Leadership, Teachers’, and Young Children’s Experiences.
Kimura, Anna M.
- Abstract: In US schools, a common colorblind philosophy assumes that early-childhood-aged children (ages 3-8) do not see differences among people, and thus these differences do not need to be discussed (Hirschfeld, 2012). However, young children do in fact see differences among people, even as early as three months old (Sangrigoli & Schonen, 2004), and by preschool begin to believe that biased bel... read moreiefs and stereotypes are true (York, 2016). In order for children to learn how to process these differences in ways that are respectful of self and others, it is imperative that children are taught appropriate language, and actively practice discussing these differences in healthy, productive ways through anti-bias education. The purpose of this study is to examine the unique development and implementation process of an anti-bias curriculum at a local elementary school. The data collection and analysis is based on principles of anti-bias education theory. The research methodology is an exploratory single-case study approach (Yin, 2013), constructed using interview and classroom observation data. A thematic coding process is used for the analysis. The findings confirm several critical tenets of developing and teaching anti-bias education: the importance of strong leadership, teacher self-reflection, and a collaborative team culture. The children’s comprehension of anti-bias concepts not only debunks the colorblind myth, but also demonstrates how anti-bias language can be taught in developmentally appropriate ways during the early childhood period. The findings also illustrate how adults, who may be initially uncomfortable discussing anti-bias topics can, through a progression of steps, learn ways to engage with and teach these topics to children. Its significance relative to social justice work is that anti-bias teaching can be implemented on a larger scale, such as an elementary school, in the US.read less