Celebrating Diversity and Cultivating Awareness
As educators we know that children are never too young to begin learning about diversity. In early childhood education, the practice of guiding children in understanding the value of diversity and inclusion is known as Anti-Bias Education. At Raintree, we are developing an anti-bias teaching practice to cultivate a community in which our students are empowered and respected for what makes them unique. This leads to an ability to identify unfairness and bias in future years and a desire to stand up for themselves and others.
Awareness of self-identity is the first step in building a diverse and inclusive community.
Each class uses activities, stories, and thoughtful questions to engage in important conversations about our bodies, families, cultures, feelings, and interests. Everyone is different and that is beautiful!
Self portrait activities are a wonderful way to build this fundamental skill. This year, the Pre-K class opted to paint their self portraits in the mirror.
“I made my eyes blue with a little green in the middle.”
For their explorations into identity, the preschool class used sharpies to draw their self portraits, and nursery students created their self portraits with loose parts.
This coming school year we will begin a school-wide exploration through the four core goals of anti-bias education: Identity, Diversity, Justice, and Activism. We’ll use honest and open conversations, unique activities, and books reflecting many different cultures, races, and family compositions to celebrate diversity and inclusion in our community.
“Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common. Celebrate it every day.”
~ Winston Churchill