Becoming anti-bias/anti-racist educators means setting clear goals for ourselves and our students. As we grow to better understand our social identities, histories, and forms of injustice, we can simultaneously support the learning and identity development of our students. As early childhood educators, we have a unique opportunity to disrupt the passing on of unfair images and to present young learners with experiences that reflect their own identities and provide full and accurate views of the world. Because preschool may be the first community membership experience for children outside of their own families, it is important that we intentionally provide opportunities and plant foundational seeds for this process of life-long learning. We can use the following student goals and learning outcomes to guide our decision making, curriculum development, and daily choices toward making learning environments more welcoming, just, equitable and safe for all learners.
IDENTITY – Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities.
- I know and like who I am and can talk about my family and myself and name some of my group identities.
- I can talk about interesting and healthy ways that some people who share my group identities live their lives.
- I know that all my group identities are part of me—but that I am always ALL me.
- I can feel good about myself without being mean or making other people feel bad.
- I see that the way my family and I do things is both the same as and different from how other people do things, and I am interested in both.
DIVERSITY – Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections.
- I like being around people who are like me and different from me, and I can be friendly to everyone.
- I can describe some ways that I am similar to and different from people who share my identities and those who have other identities.
- I want to know about other people and how our lives and experiences are the same and different.
- I know everyone has feelings, and I want to get along with people who are similar to and different from me.
- I find it interesting that groups of people believe different things and live their daily lives in different ways.
JUSTICE – Children will increasingly recognize unfairness (injustice), have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts.
- I know my friends have many identities, but they are always still just themselves.
- I know when people are treated unfairly.
- I know some true stories about how people have been treated badly because of their group identities, and I don’t like it.
- I know that life is easier for some people and harder for others and the reasons for that are not always fair.
- I know about people who help stop unfairness and work to make life better for many people.
ACTION- Children will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions.
- I care about those who are treated unfairly.
- I can and will do something when I see unfairness – this includes telling an adult.
- I will say something or tell an adult if someone is being hurtful, and will do my part to be kind, even if I don’t like something they say or do.
- I will speak up or do something if people are being unfair.