Anti-bias education is a way of teaching that supports children and their families as they develop a sense of identity in a diverse society. It helps children learn to be proud of themselves and their families, respect a range of human differences, recognize unfairness and bias, and speak up for the rights of others (Derman-Sparks & Edwards 2010).
Here are the four core goals of an anti-biased education and we’ll use these to anchor our Anti-Racist Storytime this framework should inform our intentional design of storytime activities to increase the impact and “stickiness” of our learning objectives. Our storytimes can reinforce positive self-concept and identity, create connections across our diverse communities, help children identify bias and nurture empathy, and teach them ways to engage in standing up for themselves and others in the face of bias.
Goal 1, Identity
• Teachers will nurture each child’s construction of knowledgeable and confident 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, empathic 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
"Carefully selected children’s books can play a powerful role in shaping young children’s attitudes, response patterns, and concepts about self and others. The experience of listening to others read aloud or reading picture books with an antibias message provides an opportunity for young children to see and identify with characters often different from themselves. They can also experience a wide range of social dilemmas and points of view. These book-related ventures teach students how to look at events from a variety of perspectives, in other words, feel what it is like to “be in another person’s shoes.”6 Books that contain examples of how words and actions can hurt people are often a starting point for empathy-building activities. Discussions, story compositions, role playing with and without character dolls or puppets, and the creation of pictures are exercises that could help make young children more aware of the personal impact of biased thinking. These activities can help students realize that they can do something positive to change or prevent these negative situations." (Elizabeth H. Rowell, Thomas B. Goodkind, and Elizabeth U. Henshaw)