Anti-bias Curriculum

The anti-bias curriculum, in education, is an active/activist approach that proponents claim challenges forms of prejudice such as racism, sexism, ableism/disablism, ageism, homophobia, and other –isms.

The objective of this approach to teaching is to eliminate bias that proponents claim is found in various institutions. This approach attempts to provide children with a solid understanding of social problems and issues while equipping them with strategies to combat bias and improve social conditions for all.

The anti-bias curriculum is seen by its proponents as a catalyst in the critical analysis of various social conditions. It is implemented as a proactive means to eradicate various forms of social oppression with the ultimate goal of social justice in mind.

Implementation

"Anti-bias education takes an active, problem solving approach that is integrated into all aspects of an existing curriculum and a school’s environment"

A successful implementation of the anti-bias curriculum is applied in both the formal curriculum (also referred to as the core curriculum) and the hidden curriculum.

The formal curriculum consists of the educational content, expectations, course materials (e.g. textbooks), evaluation, and instruction.

The hidden curriculum encompasses all the values passed on by teachers and educators, and from the school or educational milieu (i.e. the culture of the educational setting). For instance, the hidden curriculum teaches children and students about punctuality amongst other things and transmits dominant culture (e.g. chosen holiday celebration).

The anti-bias curriculum acknowledges that varying degrees and layers of oppression exist in educational institutions. These affect not only children’s abilities and outcomes in learning, but also impede on the level of opportunities, overall well-being, and development. Since education is both an institution and an agent of socialization, it plays a momentous role in perpetuating existing forms of social oppression.

The anti-bias approach of teaching urges educators to be aware of these social limitations and eliminate them to create social justice for all. Education should be at the forefront in learning about acceptance, tolerance and respect. The anti-bias approach teaches children that there is an imbedded connection between race/ethnicity, gender, religion, social class, and physical ability to power, privilege, prestige, and opportunity. Through this approach children are taught to critically analyze what is being presented to them while learning about acceptance, respect, and tolerance.

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