As leaders of equitable learning environments, administrators must act as role models of behaviors ranging from talking about equity to addressing biased attitudes out-loud. Contemplating equity can also inform decisions that are made that uphold the value of all children and families.
These decisions can include:
- The diversity of the staff
- The way one evaluates and communicates employee performance goals
- The building of partnerships and the promotion of community agencies
- The types of family involvement opportunities offered
- The supplemental classes and activities that are introduced
- The fieldtrips and visitors that are invited into the program
- The types of professional development that is arranged for employees
- The languages spoken throughout the day in the program
- The curriculum and assessment tools that are used in classrooms
- The policies and procedures that are in place and how they are enforced
- The way that money is allocated in the budget
Ultimately, it is the role of directors and administrators to view each family as unique and work with employees to build their capacity to do the same. Work gently, yet firmly, to encourage employees to explore their own biases. There are many resource articles and books listed in this newsletter that you can use to start these conversations with your employees.
Evaluate the program on a regular basis to identify and address practices that may be based on those conscious or unconscious biases. Unfortunately, unconscious biases are challenging to identify because they are not obvious – they are opinions or attitudes that the individual is not aware they are holding on to.
Collaboration and conversation with other members of leadership, mentors, or administrators from different programs can assist with shining a light on practices that are based in bias.
NAEYC’s Position Statement on Advancing Equity on Early Childhood Education provides significant guidance on equitable learning opportunities for young children. The full position statement plus additional guidance can be found at https://www.naeyc.org/resources/position-statements/equity.
For the main article New NAEYC Position Statement on Equity in Early Childhood Education, CLICK HERE
For the article Recommendations for Everyone, CLICK HERE
For the article Recommendations for Early Childhood Educators; When Building a Community of Learners, CLICK HERE
For the article Recommendations for Early Childhood Educators; Working with Families and Engaging in Advocacy, CLICK HERE