As you have learned in the previous weeks of this course, creating an anti-bias learning community involves promoting positive interactions and relationships with children and families, establishing an environment that honors all individuals, and implementing curriculum that addresses diversity issues.
For this Application Assignment, you will analyze specific ways in which to respond to and intervene with young children when they exhibit prejudice, misconceptions, fear, and/or rejection of differences with respect to culture, language, and economic class. You will develop an action plan that sets up opportunities for children to learn to understand, respect, and embrace differences and act/interact in unbiased and fair ways. Your action plan will focus on the four aspects of creating an anti-bias learning community:
- Positive interactions with children
- Positive relationships with and among families
- The visual and material environment
- Curriculum planning
To begin, print and review the “Creating an Anti-Bias Learning Community: Diversity of Culture, Language, and Economic Class” form. As you work on this assignment and plan activities and experiences to help children expand their understanding of diversity, build respect for others, and overcome negative and biased feelings, you will complete this form and ultimately submit it as your application.
Now, read the statements below that could reflect the voices of young children. Select one of the statements to be the focus of your analysis.
- “Gabriel is stupid. He doesn’t even speak our language. Why doesn’t he learn English?” (Boy, 6)
- “Go away! My mom says you’re a lazy Mexican! I’m not playing with you.” (Boy, 5)
- “You can’t play with us – your clothes are old and ugly.” (Girl, 4)
- “No, you can’t be the princess because your Daddy doesn’t have a car. You can be the maid.” (Girl 5)
With your selection in mind, begin to consider activities, discussions, and other techniques you might put into place to respond to the biases expressed in the statement.
Using the “Creating an Anti-Bias Learning Community: Diversity of Culture, Language, and Economic Class” form; record the child’s statement you selected in the upper right-hand box. Then, for each of the four anti-bias learning community elements listed on the left-side of the form, come up with at least two action items that will address the misconceptions and biases revealed in the child’s statement to help all of children with whom you work develop respect for diversity. It may be helpful to review Chapter 4 of the course text, as well as this week’s Learning Resources, to guide you through this process.
Note: For each action item you specify, provide a detailed description. Do not feel restricted by the space provided on the form. Your completed assignment will likely extend beyond the original one page document.