Now more than ever, it’s imperative for those who teach our nation’s youth to be unbiased. As our nation’s youth return to schools, it can prove to be a scary and daunting time for them. There are many reasons for this, including the issues circulating America’s political climate.
It’s no secret that children and teens will experience the implications of racism, sexism, bias, and other types of prejudice in their lifetimes. But, as our nation progresses toward a more inclusive cumulative culture, it’s important that the youth have a general understanding of right and wrong. They should also learn how major historical events have impacted the development of our country.
What Is Anti-Bias Education?
The purpose of implementing anti-bias is to help individuals, specifically children, understand what bias is. In other words, anti-bias education aims to help people understand why bias exists and who it affects. Anti-bias education is a comprehensive approach to teaching individuals to better understand the value of differences in society. This form of education also teaches individuals to actively challenge bias, injustice, prejudice, and discrimination. All of these vices have been historically evident in schools, communities, and society as a whole.
Anti-Bias education teaches people of all ages to explore how one’s personal identity, social identity, and cultural identity unconsciously shape one’s world view. This exploration and ultimate understanding helps individuals recognize the relationship between identity, bias, and power. When this relationship is understood, individuals can better interpret differences, challenge bias, relate to others, and advocate for justice.
Systematic Racism Education
Individuals must understand what injustices and biases are in order to think critically. This learning can foster a more just and equitable society—so that all people can learn and thrive as members of their community. Given last year’s protests for racial justice, many teachers have found themselves increasingly more likely to touch on the issues of systematic racism. This education has allowed students to gain a better understanding of the nation’s history and how systemic racism is perpetuated today. Anti-Bias training serves to neutralize bias in education by training teachers. Their students can gain the knowledge necessary to understand just how negatively bias has impacted our country as a whole.
The Disastrous History of Oppression
It’s important that individuals have an understanding of how historic instances of oppression have impacted various races and cultures. How has it perpetuated injustice in modern society? Critical Race Theory, CRT, aims to provide individuals with a better understanding of the contributions that various cultures have made in U.S. history. Also CRT also covers the oppression that such cultures have faced.
Ultimately, Dictionary.com defines Critical Race Theory as “a way of analyzing systems, institutions, and power through a lens of race and racism.” Central to Critical Race Theory is these ideas: Many institutions are built on and enforce systematic racism and oppression of people of color. This racism and oppression have a long history in the US and the world (including slavery and its legacy). And, they are ongoing and driven by white supremacy.
Helping Youth Understand Disparities
There are many benefits of highlighting historical events that have impacted the institutional makeup and structure of the United States. Students can understand how systematic injustice has taken such a strong hold over minorities in modern society. Further, by facing our own cultural learnings, experiences, and identities, people can discover why there is still so much more work to do.
There is still much to learn about unconscious bias training, gender bias in education, and neutralizing implicit bias in education. By doing so, people can begin to advocate for a more equitable and progressive future.