When creating learning environments that are equitable for all, NAEYC recommends that everyone take time to reflect upon and begin to understand their own beliefs and biases. Bias presents itself as a set of stereotypes or beliefs about a group of people that is formed based on one’s personal experience moving through the world. Bias can exist based on (just to name a few):
- Sexual orientation
- Ability status
- Social status
- Economic status
Bias exists when one feels that individuals from one group fall higher or lower on the societal scale. It also presents as the assumptions people make about an individual based on their race, religion, gender, etc.
Because everyone has some type of conscious and/or unconscious biases, it is important for us all to identify them, own them, and work to address the harm that they cause. Through these actions, we can begin to eliminate them.
Learning more about different perspectives and individuals who are different from us is a great place to start this work. It is not easy or comfortable work. Early childhood educators are encouraged to commit to this ongoing practice of eliminating bias as it appears, on an individual level and systemically. Creating a learning environment steeped in this work is called anti-bias education.
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 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
For the article Recommendations for Administrators, CLICK HERE