More on the YWCA’s Anti-Bias Curriculum…

I have pages upon pages of notes from my interview with Mana Tahaie, Director of Racial Justice for the YWCA Tulsa, on ideas for raising/encouraging anti-biased children. The article in this month’s Tulsa Kids features some of the main points. Over the next couple of weeks, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll post some of the other points gleaned from that conversation with Mana, as well as thoughts from other mommies I’ve talked to about the potentially difficult topics of race and ethnicity.

For today, here’s a little more on the NAEYC-approved anti-bias curriculum the YWCA Tulsa is planning to use in their early childhood education program.

The NAEYC goals for the curriculum are:

1. Nurture the construction of a knowledgeable, confident identity as an individual and as a member of multiple cultural groups (such as gender, race, ethnicity, or class)
2. Promote comfortable, empathetic interactions with people from diverse backgrounds
3. Foster each child’s ability to recognize bias and injustice
4. Cultivate each child’s ability to stand up, individually and with others, against bias or injustice

Then there are eight guiding assumptions:

1. Even very young children notice differences and begin to discriminate based on them.
2. It’s not a problem that children notice differences. The problem is that in our society, some differences are valued as positive and others as negative, and children absorb and act on these values.
3. We do not all experience bias in the same way.
4. An anti-bias approach is important for everyone.
5. As adults, we are often unaware of our biases. Therefore, we unintentionally perpetuate the biases in environments we create.
6. Understanding bias and inequality is a long-term process that can be difficult as well as exhilarating and fun.
7. It’s important to create an environment for adults as well as children where everyone’s participation is sought after and valued and where it’s okay to disagree.
8. It’s important to integrate an anti-bias approach into all parts of the program.

Thanks, Mana, for the sending me this information.

‘Til next Tuesday…

Categories: On Center Street