anti-bias teacher resources

Tips for Selecting Anti-Bias Children’s Books

by Marsha Rakestraw Stories are a powerful tool. They teach us about the world and ourselves; they influence our values; and they help shape our worldview. With children’s books, we’re usually looking for a good story to share with our children. Less often are we paying much attention to the kinds of messages those stories…

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father and son playing with dollhouse

11 Children’s Picture Books That Shatter Gender Stereotypes

by Marsha Rakestraw Just as we like to pretend that we live in a post-racial society, many of us want to avoid talking about sexism, stereotypes, and gender inequities. After all, women are CEOs and scientists and MMA fighters. And men can (sometimes) express their feelings (in certain cases), and can be stay-at-home dads and…

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4 Video Resources for Exploring Race, Racism, Stereotypes, and Microaggressions

by Marsha Rakestraw Talking about race, racism, and institutional oppression can be challenging, especially when many white people are feeling defensive, uncomfortable, and confused. Videos, including those using humor, can be a great tool for introducing tough-to-talk-about conversations, and a meaningful catalyst for exploring what can be subtle, complex issues. Here are four resources that…

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books

9 Resources for Finding Multicultural Books for Children

by Marsha Rakestraw According to the latest figures from the National Center for Education Statistics, “black, Latino, Asian, and Native American students will together make up a narrow majority of the nation’s public school students,” yet the number of children’s books that feature characters of color are shamefully sparse. Studies show that having multicultural literature…

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Children wearing handprint t-shirts and raising their arms high

14 Children’s Picture Books Exploring Race and Racism

by Marsha Rakestraw Studies show that children can learn racially-biased behaviors as young as three and learn to categorize people by race (non-verbally) at as young as six months. Yet we’re often reluctant to talk about race, or we pretend that being “color blind” is the least harmful choice. It’s vital that we as parents…

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13 Children’s Picture Books Whose Characters Have Special Needs

Occasionally the media focuses on those with particular challenges, such as animals with special needs and people whose likenesses – in the form of unique mannequins – shed light on the meaning of “perfect.” But the truth is, positive depictions in the public sphere of people and nonhuman animals who have special needs are not…

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Different kinds of Lego people lined up in rows on a grey surface

Where Are the People Like Me?

Students assess examples of  media (catalogs, magazines, books, etc.) to consider who is (and isn’t represented) and to explore the impact of lack of diversity in media and their own rich experiences with diversity. Recommended for grades 4-10. Time: 45-60 minutes

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A group of preschool-aged children playing with a parachute

Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves

by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards NAEYC, 2010 184 pgs How we set the tone about anti-bias in our classrooms and learning centers can influence the entire year — and possibly the whole of children’s lives. Children learn at an early age about differences in race, gender, ability, economic situation, sexual orientation, culture, and more,…

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newspaper racks

Who’s Missing From Mainstream Media? (lesson plans)

by Marsha Rakestraw A few years ago at our graduate student residency, one of the students led an activity in which small groups looked at the prevalence of men, women, and people of color as authors of articles in different sections of the newspaper, such as Style, Sports, Business, and Arts. They found that men…

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girl with blocks

12 Children’s Picture Books That Challenge Traditional Gender Roles

by Marsha Rakestraw Each May and June in the U.S. we celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Moms usually receive pretty, smelly, “girly” stuff, and dad’s get yet another manly tie, cologne, or something to BBQ. Just one of the countless ways we perpetuate the stereotypes and biases about what women and men are supposed…

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