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The Integration to Curriculum for Early Education: Anti-Bias Aspects

Ideas to Incorporate into Anti-Bias Learning Process

Nowadays, children are aware of diversity from a very early age, and educators have to consider it. A teacher who values diversity increases the remarkable impact on how children perceive the differences in people and society. Moreover, children reflect the attitudes of their families, and bring it to the group of peers. In a classroom environment, it is crucial to make children feel equally comfortable. Teachers can affect it by implementing the anti-bias approach into the learning process. It will help children in becoming more aware of bias’ aspects, such as culture, religion, and others. Furthermore, if this approach is used, children develop skills like a sense of justice, trust, good self-image, and respect. Multiple practices can be included into the curriculum to improve anti-bias learning.

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Play is the natural way for a child to learn and explore the world around. Early childhood teachers may provide children with many subjects to learn through playing, most of which are social sciences. Children might study anthropology, history, psychology while playing and creating their activities. Diversity is an anthropological study, it can be taught to children by playing. There are multiple types of plays for early childhood education, such as dramatic, sociodramatic, and practice plays, games with the rules, functional and constructive games (Beaver, et al., p. 174). Children love to pretend and copy behavior, so dramatic and sociodramatic plays are typically favorite ways of learning. To improve anti-bias learning, teachers can include dramatic play into the curriculum as well. Such games will develop a child’s positive self-concept and awareness of their own cultural heritage. It will also help a teacher in creating a multicultural classroom environment.

When diversity is included in the early childhood learning curriculum, a teacher might create activities that reveal topics such as a child’s self-description, home, family, and communication. Sociodramatic play can help in developing these topics by choosing them as main plots. For example, a topic Home includes games when children pretend like they make dinner, or clean up the house. Children will discover how different their homes and families are, while the teacher will use it to explain the aspects of diversity. As each child is unique, they might require additional help to be involved in a play. A teacher should make the rules where each child will feel safe and free to take time to adapt. Moreover, the props and equipment for the games should be familiar (Beaver, et al., 2016, p. 201). A well-organized dramatic play is a key to encouraging children to value diversity from their earliest age.

Books That Provide a Basis for Anti-Bias Planning in the Classroom

Children need to feel that people around them value all aspects of them. Factors like racial and cultural backgrounds play a significant role in social integration with their peers and teachers. There are three categories of race-related teaching practices: color-blind, color-aware, and social justice approaches. Educators tend to build anti-bias relationships with children by using color-blind method – pretending like racial differences do not exist. However, such a strategy might negatively affect children’s understanding of racial identity. Children are aware of different races so that the topic does not need to be muted. Thus, the color-aware approach is better: it points children’s attention to races and educates them to see and value it as an essential part of a personality. The other way of instructing about race is a social justice approach that encourages children to play against racial discrimination and helps in determining what is unfair and wrong to do.

A positive racial image can be developed by using literature. As children tend to imitate behaviors, literature might provide them with the right role models. Educators need to give children books that reflect their culture, yet with the presentation of aspects of life like diversity. The books that show the variety of cultures might be used to discuss important questions. To select the right diverse children’s literature, it is important to find high-quality books that have a well-written story besides the lesson. Illustrations, and characters in books need to reflect children’s minds. Moreover, books to choose should contain information that will expand children’s knowledge of different cultures, places, and unfamiliar aspects of life. The examples of books with the racially diverse topics are Black Cat (1999), by Christopher Myers, and Goggles (1969), by Ezra Jack Keats.

The Guide for Selecting Anti-Bias Books Summary

Children’s books to provide anti-bias education have to be carefully chosen. Illustrations should not contain stereotypes about particular identities, and not hold only one person of the minority in the group. Books’ images should include different groups of people that tend to be invisible, such as single parents, or transgender adults. Each storyline and relationship between characters should be checked on the subject of equity and problems presented. Moreover, represented lifestyles should be checked for the messages they send, as sometimes a racial minority might be tied to poverty. The chosen literature should reflect the cultural backgrounds of all children of a group, and make them feel equally valuable. Books will affect children more if they include stories engaging both children and adults’ efforts to change. Lastly, the crucial aspects to check beyond a book’s plot are its author and illustrator backgrounds and the copyright date.

The Two Anti-Bias Children’s Books of My Choice

The first book I chose is The Night Is Yours by Zachariah Abdul-Razak and Keturah A. Bobo. The story is about children playing hide-and-seek under the moonlight that helps African-American girl Amani, to find the last participant. The moonlight also prides the girl’s beauty and raises self-confidence (Abdul-Razak & Bobo, 2019). The book is illustrated to reveal the girl’s attractiveness to young readers. The book with an anti-bias background for the racial question might be included in the curriculum related to this topic. After reading it, children might be asked if it was good that the Moon helped Amani. If the color-aware approach is chosen, the teacher tells how beautiful Amani is and highlights her skin color. Children then might play hide-and-seek, and the lessons from the book would be better remembered by using a game from it.

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The second book I chose is Chair For My Mother by Vera B. Williams. The fire destroys the home of a girl named Rosa, her mother, and grandmother. They save money to buy a chair big enough so that they all could comfortably sit on it (Williams, 2007). The book celebrates family values regardless of the economic class. It reveals the anti-bias basis for learning about economic class differences. The curriculum for this book and topic can be divided into reading, discussion, and dramatic playing sections. After reading, children might be asked why the chair was so important and discuss what other unfair situations might happen in life. Then, the book might be re-written by a teacher into a dramatic play. Children put themselves into the conditions of the economic class of the characters for better understanding.

These lessons might seem different, yet they can be irritated by the anti-bias topic in general. Exploring diversity topic by topic, children will learn how to respect the variety of differences and discover their uniqueness. Moreover, Escayg (2018) states that “the anti-bias curriculum, while acknowledging the role of racial discourse in shaping children’s racial attitudes, emphasizes teaching practices that align with and support age-related cognitions” (p. 17). The outcomes can be assessed by discussing the diversity with children individually. Moreover, behavioral changes, such as increased respect for each other, can be counted as an outcome. It is a teacher’s responsibility to include imaginative and creative plays into the curriculum to help children in learning about diversity. Also, it is essential to discuss how children see differences between each other openly. By practicing it, the teacher will ensure children feel equally comfortable in the classroom environment.

References

Abdul-Razak, Z., & Bobo, K.A. (2019). The night is yours. Dial Books.

Beaver, N., Wyatt, S., & Jackman, H. (2016). Early education curriculum: a child’s connection to the world. Cengage Learning.

Escayg, K. A. (2018). The missing links: Enhancing anti-bias education with anti-racist education. Journal of Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Leadership in Education, 3(1), 15-20.

Williams, V. B. (2007). Chair for my mother. William Morrow & Company Inc.

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StudyCorgi. "The Integration to Curriculum for Early Education: Anti-Bias Aspects." January 11, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-integration-to-curriculum-for-early-education-anti-bias-aspects/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "The Integration to Curriculum for Early Education: Anti-Bias Aspects." January 11, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/the-integration-to-curriculum-for-early-education-anti-bias-aspects/.

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