diversity of the society in the educational settings is extremely important since it helps in opening up the minds of the students and encourages them to engage actively in their learning processes. According to the research, prejudice and bias is combatted in the educational environments when empathy development, critical thinking and the development of positive self-esteem among students is encouraged (Vandenbroeck, 2007).
In this paper, we shall begin with the brief explanation of the aspects that we shall be looking with respect to the anti-bias approach towards the curriculum of social studies for the students of Grade III. Towards the end of the paper a checklist will also be provided for the school to figure out where they stand and what needs to be changed about their curriculum.
Criteria for Adopting an Anti-Bias Approach
In order to raise the issues of bias and diversity successfully in the classroom, the following criteria should be kept in mind by the teachers while they are developing the curriculum as well as when they are teaching in the classroom.
The content included in the book should be able to examine the cultural assumptions and biases that are personal. Personal perceptions should be explored by the teachers and they should understand the situations through the development of the awareness of what is known as the persona cultural "filters."
The content of the social studies curriculum and the teaching practices of the concerned teachers should reflect the integration of perspectives and information that is culturally diverse. The teachers should move beyond the restrictions of a cultural history month through the incorporation of various perspectives into all dimensions of the curriculum.
Time and Maturation
The teachers need to allow some time lapse for the development of the process. Less complex topics with respect to diversity should be introduced first in the books as well as by the teachers. This is going to help establish trust among the students. Discussions should begin with the development of ground rules that invite students for taking part in honest discussion with due respect. The teachers should be able to recognize that the history of confrontation between people of different groups do have a potential to affect the classroom environment and learning.
The environment of the classrooms should be such that they allow for mistakes. Since many people have unintentionally gotten involved in stereotypical and prejudicial thinking, teachers should be aware that some acts of certain students can hurt others. The teachers should be fully aware of the fact that such intolerant thinking can surface at any time. The entire responsibility comes to the teachers in this situation, as they have to act like a model, which is non-defensive to what some students might have to say about other cultural groups. The assumption of good will develop a positive environment in the classroom.
Teachers should be prepared to give appropriate responses in the wake of acts of bias. Students closely observe how teachers intervene in certain situations regarding hate-based or discriminatory behavior. If the teachers remain silent, it will give an impression to the students that it is not a big deal to call out names to others. Students should be warned about not calling names to the students and their families.
Teachers should keep an eye on anti-bias education problems and have a discussion with the students. Articles from magazines and newspapers should be posted in the classroom and some significant ones should be made a part of the curriculum. The teachers need to allow the students to be aware of the fact that they are learners and therefore are a part of the entire learning process.
Teachers should avoid preaching the students about the rights and wrongs of life. Rather, they should provide the students with opportunities through the curriculum and their teaching practices to solve problems, resolve conflicts and work in culturally diverse teams so they can think critically (Lin, Lake & Rice, 2008).
Students should be encouraged to share their life experiences in the class. Literature should be used to as to develop empathy among the students. However, the discussion of the sufferings should be minimized as it cannot be fruitful.
The materials being used in the classroom included the books and bulletin boards should be constantly reviewed so as to make sure that every cultural group has a fair representation. Videos and supplemental books should…