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Anti-bias/Anti-racist Education


Somerville Early Education and the SEE Every Child Curriculum embrace Anti-bias Education (Derman-Sparks, Edwards, and Goins, 2020) as a framework and lens through which all work is planned and implemented. We integrate an Anti-racist approach, knowing that by centering race we acknowledge the impact of systemic racism on all children and families, their intersectional identities, and other -isms that impact whole and healthy development.

These pages are designed to be a resource for early childhood educators to grow their practice as anti-bias/anti-racist educators. It has been created by compiling the work and resources of many educators throughout Somerville and the world.

What Is Anti-bias/Anti-racist Education

Anti-bias/Anti-racist education is an integrated stance through which educators evaluate, alter, and design all aspects of their classroom environment, their routines and management, and their curriculum to create more and more equitable and inclusive experiences for students.

It is a part of everything we do

How we set up the classroom and the materials we use

How we plan curriculum
How we interact with children
How we work with families

It is fully integrated into the daily life of our classrooms and our social curriculum

Building community

Being with one others

Developing equitable systems

Why do we implement an Anti-bias Education approach?

Because bias, privilege, and power are built into our society and systems; and impact all children’s development and lives.

Because preschool is often the first community membership experience for children (and sometimes families), outside of their homes. It is important that we provide opportunities and plant foundational seeds for this process of life-long learning.
Because anti-bias/anti-racist education is part of a bigger process of creating a society that is equitable and just for all.

Because all children have a right to:

  • become their fullest selves
  • become culturally-aware people
  • develop a full sense of fairness and justice
  • seek equity (active participation) for all.

Anti-Bias/Anti-Racist Education Classroom Goals

These early childhood goals and learning outcomes are divided into four domains—Identity,
Diversity, Justice and Action. Educators can use these standards to guide decision making,
curriculum development, and daily choices to make learning environments more just, equitable
and safe.

Adult Development Goals

Growing as an anti-bias/anti-racist educator includes introspection, self-reflection and a
commitment to ongoing learning. Working with the following adult development goals will
serve to deepen our relationships, collaborations, cultural relevance, critical pedagogy, and

Educator/Adult Development Reflection Tool

This self-study guide, developed by D. W. Chen, J. Nimmo, & H. Fraser, is a powerful tool to assess and reflect on our own self-awareness, the physical environment, the pedagogical environment, and our relationships with families and the community.

Lessons and Teaching Guides

Though the majority of the SEE Every Child Curriculum is located in the Big Idea Guides, this page houses a small, and growing, collection of distinct lessons that can be integrated and adapted for your classroom.

Shades of People

A series of lessons that support children’s exploration of the various shades of skin in the world. These lessons were originally part of a remote teaching kit.

Self-Portrait Assessment Rubric

A rubric, with interview prompts to support your
assessment of children’s self-portraits, as well as their developing sense of self and identity.

Study Guide for Matt de la Peña & Christian Robinson

This comprehensive guide can be used with preschool through 3rd grade children. Read all the way through it to determine which activities will best support your own learning and your students’ learning.

Teaching About Indigenous People

This guide was developed to support teachers as they include more curricula about local indigenous people. It provides both adult learning and
classroom resources.

Early Childhood Anti-bias/Anti-racist Books

  • Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves – Louise Derman-Sparks, Julie Olsen Edwards, Catherine M. Goins (2020)
  • Spotlight on Young Children: Equity & Diversity – NAEYC (2020)
  • Each and Every Child: Teaching Preschool with an Equity Lens – NAEYC, S. Friedman & A. Mwenelupembe (2020)
  • Don’t Look Away: Embracing Anti-Bias Classrooms – Iruka, Curenton, Durden, & Escayg (2020)
  • Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs – L. Derman-Sparks, D. LeeKeenon, J. Nimmo (2015)
  • No More Culturally Irrelevant Teaching – M. Souto-Manning, C. Lugo Llerena, J. Martell, A. Sals Maguire, A. Arce-Boardman (2018)