Anti-Bias Teaching and Learning Environments in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs
Judi Stevenson-Garcia: Great. Thank you so much. And again, welcome, everyone, to this webinar. We're so happy to have you here this afternoon. This is part of the Office of Head Start Advancing Racial and Ethnic Equity in Head Start series. They are here to present anti-bias teaching and learning environments in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. We're so happy to have you here and we're so excited to see all of you introducing yourselves. And please, if you're just joining us, share with us in the "Ask a Question" box what setting you work in and how you define an anti-bias learning environment. We're going to spend the next hour and a half together talking about what anti-bias learning environments are in Head Start and Early Head Start programs and sharing some strategies with you about how you can support that in the early learning setting you work in.
The focus of today's webinar is on providing anti-bias teaching and learning environments with the specific purpose of advancing racial and ethnic equity in Head Start. Now, just to review the series so far, we, in August, on August 6th, there was a webinar on engaging in conversations about racial and ethnic equity. And then on August 20th, there was a webinar on culture, diversity, inclusiveness, and equity with a spotlight on human resource systems. And then here we are today, September 10th. It's hard to believe it's already September, anti-bias teaching and learning environments. And then in September, September 17th, next week, we'll be focusing on health disparities, responding with a lens on race and ethnicity.
So, just to get a feel for who we have in the audience today, we'd love to take a quick poll just to find out, for those of you who are with us, if you were able to participate in any of the previous webinars or if today is your first one. So, we're just going to push out a quick poll.
Could you let us know if today is your first webinar in this series or if you have participated in one of the previous ones? So, could you just let us know real quickly if today is your first one, if you participated in both of the previous ones, or if you just participated in the first one on August 6th? Or maybe you just participated in the most recent one on August 20th? So, I'll just give you a quick minute to respond to this poll. Let us know just to get a feel for some of the content that we'll be providing today.
We're going to refer back to some of the content that was reviewed or that was provided in the previous webinars. I'd like to know who we're talking to, and what you've already experienced related to the previous webinars. Go ahead and let us know. Give you about five more seconds to respond. Thank you. OK, go ahead and let's close that out. Thank you, and let's see who we've got participating here. Can we see the results of this poll? OK, alright, we've got a lot of you here, this is your first of the series. OK, and some of you have been here for both of them. That's fantastic. Alright. Well, welcome to all of you who this is your first one. We're so glad that you joined us today. We're really happy to have you. We're really glad that you've taken the time to be here with us. And we hope that this is a great learning opportunity for you.
So, let's just ... You can see who is talking. I'll just say hello. I'm Judi Stevenson-Garcia. And today with us, we have Jenille Morgan and Treshawn Anderson. I don't know if you guys want to hop on and just say hello real quickly. Hi, guys.
Treshawn Anderson: Hi, everyone. I'm Treshawn Anderson. You'll hear from me later on today, but I'm so glad to be here and so glad you're here joining us. [Multiple speakers talking]
Jenille Morgan: I am Jenille ... Hi. I'm Jenille Morgan, and I am also very glad to be here and look forward to sharing with you all later.
Judi: Thank you, and just to get us started, I'm very excited to say hello to our friend from the Office of Head Start, Jamie Sheehan. She's going to kick us off. Hi, Jamie.
Jamie Sheehan: Hi. Good afternoon. So glad to see so many folks are on. Yes, I am Jamie Sheehan with the Office of Head Start, and I'm excited to welcome you to the third webinar. But for many of you, it's your first, so we're excited to have you. This is the series from the Office of Head Start on Advancing Racial and Ethnic Equity. Today's topic on anti-bias teaching and learning environments is especially important to me as a former three- and four-year-old teacher, a former Head Start education manager and coach, and now at the Office of Head Start, where I support early childhood development, teaching, and learning practices for Head Start programs and staff.
In my previous roles, I was rarely introduced to a topic like this that helped me explore my own bias in my personal and professional life. I would have loved to have a chance, way back when, to build my awareness that would enrich my classroom, my center, and my community. But I'm happy to have it now. Today's presentation from the National Center on Early Childhood Development, Teaching and Learning is filled with anti-bias strategies and self-reflections.
These topics aren't always easy, but we know that they're necessary for supporting children, families, and the staff that we work with to deepen a positive sense of identity and belonging. I hope today that you feel empowered to take the time for yourself for self-reflection.
You know, we often don't allow ourselves to do that and to take time for ourselves to even make the smallest change and to help feel the ripple of change you could potentially have. Your role as Early Head Start and Head Start teachers and staff has always been about seeing the potential, the promise, and the possibility for children, so the ability to further promote anti- bias practices and environments will only deepen that promise. I love this quote from Maya Angelou because it can fit so many different situations in our lives, but I feel it's especially loved for today's topic. It gives us the freedom to acknowledge what we know now, but it also gives us the space and opportunity to always learn more and to do better. I hope today you have that experience. I know I will, so enjoy today's webinar.
Judi: Thank you so much, Jamie. Such a great way to start today's seminar. I really appreciate this quote, and we're going to do the best that we can today. So, thank you for that. So, to get us started today, we're going to start kind of at the macro level. On August 6th, the first webinar of this series, our friends and colleagues at the National Center for Program Families and Communities introduced this model as a framing for the Advancing Racial Equity series. This is a framework from Build for equity in early childhood systems. And it's kind of a ... It's a large framework, and we're going to focus on just a-a small piece of it. But this is the four levels of change that need to occur to ensure racial equity and early childhood systems. So, there's four pieces of this: personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural. So, today, what we're going to focus on is just two pieces of it.
First is this personal piece. This is the part of the system that represents your efforts as staff, teachers, family child care providers, and home visitors. Your personal efforts to understand your values, beliefs, implicit biases, unconscious racism, actions, and relative privileges that contribute to racial inequities and equity and the individual acts you can take to advance racial equity. We hope that's why you're here today. Second is this interpersonal part of the system. That's the group work that includes including those who are excluded, sharing power, surfacing issues of racial inequality and interpersonal relationships, and acting to support positive change and working to reduce interpersonal conflict. And that's a lot. Those are big mouthfuls. And we're going to break apart these two pieces, the personal and interpersonal, and we'll talk about strategies that really can help you see how these components fit into the larger system. Now, a great resource that we have for doing this personal and interpersonal work is the multicultural principles for Head Start programs, and some of you may be familiar with this.
And this resource offers research implications for practice, but it also offers some reflective questions and activities that are related to culture and equity. You can find a link to this resource in your viewer's guide, so if you haven't downloaded it yet, you can do that. You can do it at any time during the webinar. This type of personal and interpersonal work is important when we think about creating anti-bias early learning environments. This is work that we do with ourselves as a kind of a starting point for creating these early learning environments.
Now, this next slide might be familiar to some of you. This is the framework for effective practices. Our focus today will mostly be on the foundation, and like any real structure, the foundation is necessary for holding up everything else. So, in this framework, the foundation is where we find nurturing, responsive, and effective interactions and engaging environments.
That's really what we'll be focused on today. But the other aspects of the framework also support anti-bias learning environments. So, for example, choosing and implementing research- based curricula and teaching practices. This will include making sure that they are culturally and linguistically responsive to the cultures and languages of the children and families in your program. Also, using ongoing assessment practices, you want to make sure that they don't unintentionally or unfairly document negative behaviors or maybe neglect to include learning achievements of certain children. Also, the roof of the house, highly individualized teaching and learning, is also critical to anti-bias practices as it ensures you modify and adapt your teaching and home-visiting practices based on children's individual needs and abilities, rather than assuming that all children learn in the same ways or can be successful without adaptation.
These adaptations provide equitable access to learning opportunities.
And then finally, parent and family engagement. It's at the heart of the framework and so important for ensuring that family culture, racial and ethnic identities, traditions, and norms are part of your learning community so that children and families can see your program as a place where they belong and are celebrated. And this is critical to establishing an anti-bias learning environment. Finally, the Head Start Early Learning Outcomes Framework, or the ELOF as we like to call it ... Anti-bias learning environments support children's growth and development across all domains, but specifically within the social-emotional development domain. Within this domain, we find the sub-domain of sense of identity and belonging. So, within the social- emotional development domain for infants and toddlers, the sense of identity and belonging is focused on where infants and toddlers begin to show awareness of themselves and connecting with others. They start to understand some characteristics of themselves and others. And through relationships, they begin to show confidence and their own abilities and develop a real sense of their confidence in their own abilities and a sense of belonging. During the preschool years, children began to recognize themselves as individuals. They have confidence in their own skills and have positive feelings about themselves, and they develop a sense of belonging in their families and communities. So, I want you to keep these indicators in mind as we move through the webinar today.
Jamie: Awesome. Thanks, Judi. That was awesome how you set that up for us. So, we're going to go ahead and dive into the goals that we have for today and that we hope that you take away after the webinar is over. So first, we're going to talk about how children develop the understanding of individual differences. How does that work? When does it start? And when can we start to observe these behaviors? Then we're going to spend a little bit of time talking about bias and how it impacts early childhood programs. And then finally, we're always going to give you some strategies to take home that address biases in your programs and help you be proactive in your approach in supporting children's development of identity and belonging.
Before we start talking about the importance of anti-bias learning environments, we're going to establish some common definitions. And so, first, we're going to talk about the definition of implicit bias. And for our purpose today, we're going to use the definition of implicit bias that you see on your screen here. So, implicit biases are the unconscious beliefs and feelings or behaviors that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions. And sometimes biases can be confused with prejudice. But here's our definition of prejudice, and it means that they're preconceived opinions that lead to preferential or favorable treatment for some people and unfavorable biases or hostility against others. And what we'll discuss here today is how young children develop biases and how children's biases and our own biases as adults impact our interactions in early childhood settings. And then we'll also talk about how teachers and family child care providers and even home visitors can use anti-bias teaching practices to establish this anti-bias learning environment that supports children's development of sense of identity and belonging, like Judi mentioned with the ELOF.
OK, so let's get started. First, what do children know and understand about individual differences? Well, through this first segment of the webinar we're going to be talking about when children begin to notice individual differences and how biases develop. And if you downloaded the viewer's guide, and we sure hope you did, it's in the resources section. You can write down some of your reflections as we go along, some ideas that may come to mind or some questions that you may have that you want to bring back to your staff. So, the viewer's guide is a fillable PDF, so once you open it, you can type right into it and save it onto your computer, or if you're like me, I like to just print it out and write it myself, and then I can pass it along to anyone that needs it. So, go ahead and download the viewer's guide now if you haven't done so already as we begin talking about these points.
So first, let's start with infants. Do you think babies are born with an understanding of differences? What do you think these infants know about race, these infants that you see on the screen that the teacher is holding? Do you think they're born with biases? Many of you work in Early Head Start, either in a center-based or home-based programs. So, what do you think babies know or understand about race or maybe not even race? What do they think they understand about differences in people and gender? Take a look at these babies. Do you think they recognize or understand differences in people? Are they born with that ability to understand that they're different? Or is it something that they learn? Are they born with these biases, or is it just something that they pick up along the way? Think about these things and write down some ideas on your viewer's guide. Now, let's think about toddlers. Love toddlers; they're my favorites. What do they understand? We know they understand a lot, but do you think they notice differences? Do they show that they understand differences between people, and if they do, how? How do they show that they understand differences? Do you think they show biases? And if they show biases, do you think they've learned it somewhere? Remember, there's no right or wrong answers here when we're reflecting. We're just ... We'll just be sharing some ideas and some research about what scientists have learned about how young children learn about the world. And we're just asking these questions as a way to get you thinking about the children you work with and how they perceive the world. You may have asked yourself these questions before, but now is your time to think about it. Now, let's dive into our preschoolers. This one might be a little easier because they tend to tell you everything that they observe and think, don't they? They tell you that they notice differences in people. What do you think they notice and think about people's differences? Do they notice differences in race and ethnicity? What do you think they understand? And do you think they have biases? If so, where do you think those biases come from? I know Judi has a story that she'd like to share with us in a little bit.
Judi: Well, I just had to share ... This is a perfect example ... This is my own preschooler, or when he was a preschooler ... This was one of the first indications, actually examples that I had of my son when he really was starting to understand differences. This is a picture that my son, Niko, drew of our family, and this is the first time he used color in his drawing of our family. This is when he was just right before he turned five. And so, he's on the right-hand side and that's me climbing a mountain, which I have never climbed a mountain, but I was climbing a mountain. And my husband is on the left side. And then my older son is down on the bottom left. And we had never really talked about the differences in our skin color in our family. But this is him using different colors of crayons to represent the kind of the variations of the color in our family. And if you're wondering why my husband has like, one little piece of hair, it's because my husband is bald, and we do actually make fun of him. My son, who's empathetic, gave my husband one piece of hair, which I think is kind of funny. But this is kind of like an entry point for us to have a conversation, just to talk about like, "Oh, you know, you chose different colors to represent us." And it was just a little way for us to have a conversation about what he noticed.
And so, he didn't really say anything, but just by the way that he colored his picture, it let me know what he was thinking of, what he was already paying attention to, even as a four- turning five-year-old. So, it kind of gave us some insight into what he was thinking, even without him saying anything. So, that leads us to this. I see some of you are already sharing with us your thoughts in the share with us question box, all kinds of thoughts. Now, we hear lots of comments or questions, ideas about what children think about or understand about race. So, here's some myths or ideas. We like to think that children are in a sense that they're colorblind. They don't notice race. Well, I just showed you a picture, my four-year-old turning five, he did notice differences in our skin tone and our color. Sometimes we like to think that children are blank slates, right? They don't or they can't develop racial prejudices until they're taught to do so. Or that maybe we shouldn't discuss race with preschoolers because they're too young or it might teach them wrong ideas. But if these sound familiar to you or you may have heard similar ideas or assumptions about children of understanding about race, what is your natural reaction to these questions? Like do they sit right with you or maybe they don't feel right to you? Or maybe you just want to believe that children are innocent. They can't possibly ... They don't notice color. They have to be taught to have these bad ideas, to treat others differently. They don't learn these things from the environment. Somebody has to teach them to think these things, right? Well, we're going to just share with you a little bit about what research tells us about how children learn these things, where they, how they develop their understanding and ideas about race, about differences and about similarities.
And this research, I think, will help you understand a little bit about the children that you work with. And then what we're going to do is we're going to ... We're going to use the research as a foundation to help you guide some of the strategies that you will be able to use with the children and families that you work with and to guide your anti-bias teaching practices and learning environments that you provide. So, Jenille is going to walk us through some of the research that's there, and as we go through this research, just take some notes and think about it and -- and we'll work through it. We'll talk about it as we go through it. So, Jenille, why don't you walk us through some of this?
Jenille: Thank you, Judi. So, now we're going to highlight just a few things about what the research shows about what children know and understand about individual differences and when they start to notice these differences. So, we'll go through them kind of quickly, but all of the information is referenced in the viewer guide if you want to take a look at a later time. So, while at birth ... Yes. So, what do children know and when?
Alright, so at birth, while at birth, babies look equally at faces of all races. Decades worth of psychological research has discovered that developmentally, race is one of the earliest emerging social categories. It's one of the first things an infant can discern. And they just keep learning from there.
So, at three months, the research shows that children can discriminate between faces by race. Babies at this age look more at faces that match the race of their caregiver. By six months, babies are able to categorize people by both gender and race.
At two to three years of age, toddlers have the ready capacity to use racial categories to reason about others and their behavior. By 30 months, most children use race to choose their playmates. Numerous studies show that three- to five-year-olds not only categorized people by race, but expressed bias based on race. In a year-long study, Van Ausdale & Feagin found that three- to five-year-olds in a racially and ethnically diverse child care center used racial categories to identify themselves and others, to include or exclude children from activities, and to negotiate power in their own social-play networks. For example, children may say they do or do not want to play with a friend based on their racial similarity or difference. Or they may say they only want to play with a doll that has a specific skin tone.
By age five, some children express preferences for their own race. And at age five, Black and Latino children in research settings show no preference toward their own groups compared to Whites, but White children at this age remain strongly biased in favor of whiteness. By kindergarten, children show many of the same racial attitudes that adults in their culture hold. They have already learned to associate some groups with higher status than others. Anthony and colleagues found that children as young as five years old are susceptible to stereotype threats. There are many studies that have been done starting originally in the 1940s that look at how children perceive skin color and which characteristics are associated with it.
You may have seen videos of tests similar to this. Children ages five and six look at two dolls, one white skin with blue eyes and one dark skin with dark eyes and variations of the study they have designed, the researcher will ask the children which doll is pretty or ugly, which is good or bad. Other studies show children a range of dolls and ask who adults think are good or bad children. These studies are designed to examine what children understand about race, who is valued in society, how they perceive others, and how they themselves are perceived.
Treshawn: Thanks, Jenille, for sharing all of that. This is a lot of research and many of the findings surprised me. What surprised you guys the most? And if you have any questions, you can tell us in the "Ask a Question" box, and Jenille is going to be there to answer some of our research questions. So, go ahead and ask away. But maybe some of you aren't surprised, considering how well you know young children and the fact that they're born primed and ready to learn about the world, but perhaps you didn't know some of these ideas. And go ahead and write those down and reflect on them.
But if you think about it, like, where do children learn these ideas about race and that people might be good or bad or that one can join their friendship group or not simply because of the color of their skin. How do they learn these things? People don't just say white children are good and brown children are bad, right? I mean, I haven't really heard that in my experiences. Lots of people think that children must learn it from their parents. Like, that's where they get it. They get it from home. But you might be surprised to learn that there are many research studies that have been done that show that children's biases are not related to their parents' biases. Wow. And while this may not seem to make sense at first, it shouldn't surprise you. It shouldn't surprise you, because we all know that children learn from and are influenced by their home environment, but they also learn from the broader community and the world around them. And they listen, and they pay attention to those verbal and nonverbal behaviors that they see daily. Think of what infants, toddlers, and preschoolers observe while they're at the park or the grocery store or even church or maybe as they're walking through their communities.
This is why it's important for us to intentionally implement anti-bias learning environments so that the environments that we do have control over, that children learn from is one that teaches them that we are the same and we're different. And that's a beautiful thing. And that's OK. So, what do you do with all this research and ideas that you've learned? Well, take it back to you and on your next opportunity to observe and interact with children, whether it's in the classroom or a family child care setting or on a home visit. Take some time to really observe and listen to children. Pay close attention to what children notice and think about if your toddlers or your preschoolers are beginning to show these preferences. Listen to what your preschoolers are saying. Watch who they choose to play with or what colors they choose to represent themselves and other children that they may draw? You might hear children make comments about what they think about others based on their skin tone, and that's a great way to have an opportunity to dive deeper into that conversation about how we're different and how we're the same. And that's OK to have that conversation. This is what's beautiful about an anti-bias learning environment. Listen for opportunities to ask questions or comment about what you observe and see where you can expand on what children are thinking about. We're going to give you some strategies in just a bit for how to use these moments as starting points for building this anti-bias learning environment.
Judi: Thank you so much for reviewing that research, and I can see from the comments that a lot of you are surprised about this research, and I think this is good. This is really helpful to think about. It's helpful to think about. So, and thanks for these ideas, Treshawn, too. Right, like, let's go back and observe the children that we work with and think, like, what are they thinking about, and what do they know, and what do I know about what they know? So, let's move forward. Let's move into the second topic for today about bias and the impacts of bias in early childhood settings. So, this is going to go back a little bit to thinking again about ourselves and that personal work that we have to do. So, we've seen that children are developing and understanding of differences and similarities starting in infancy, very early on and that their environments support that understanding. So, anti-bias learning environments are important for ensuring that they are exposed to positive and inclusive representation. So, creating anti- bias learning environments starts with you, but even with the best intentions, it's possible that our own biases can interfere with creating positive, inclusive environments that support all children.
We mentioned at the beginning that implicit bias is an unconscious belief, feeling, or behavior that affects your understandings, actions, and decisions. As teachers, family child care providers, and home visitors, the learning environments and relationships with families and children that we are responsible for depends on us being open and honest about our own implicit biases that we all have them. And that within that definition is that we are very often unaware of them, and bringing them to the surface can, very often and most often, is uncomfortable. Sometimes, our immediate reaction can be defensive. "I'm not biased. I don't have biases." And sometimes, we hear things like this: "I don't have bias. I treat all my children and families the same." Or "I don't see color." Or you might hear things like "I use lots of multicultural materials," but, while that may be good intentions, what we need to do is that hard personal and interpersonal work to contribute to that system that we talked about at the beginning that builds racial equity.
We want to build the learning environments and the relationships that are needed, and in order to do that, we need to be open and honest about our implicit biases. So, to help us do that, we're going to take a few minutes right now to listen to Dr. Walter Gilliam, who is a research partner with us at DTL, and he's going to describe what implicit bias is, how it impacts early learning settings, and why it's important to address. Now, this is about a five-minute video. So, take the time to listen, take some notes, and think about what he's saying and what it means for you as a teacher or a family child care provider or home visitor or as someone who supports education staff. And when we come back from the video, we'll debrief it a little bit and we'll talk about what it means for you in your early learning center. So, let's listen.
Dr. Walter Gilliam: Implicit bias is ... They're the biases that you have that you don't know that you have. They're ways in which you look at individuals, the way in which you look at other people and reach conclusions or reach assumptions that you may not even know that you've reached. And as a result of that, you change your behavior.
Interviewer: What evidence do we have of implicit bias in a preschool setting?
Dr. Gilliam: A few years ago, in 2016, we completed a study where we were looking at implicit biases in preschool teachers. And in the study, what we did was we had teachers look at videos. These were videos of children sitting at a table, a boy and a girl, one White boy, one White girl, one Black boy, one Black girl. And they were sitting at the table, and they were just playing with Play-Doh. And there was an eye tracker that was attached to the video where the teachers were looking at the video screen, and on the eye tracker, we could track down to a thousandth of a second and down to, just right down to a pixel on the screen exactly where they were looking. When we asked the teachers, we said, "This is a study to see whether you can find challenging behaviors before they become too problematic. Now, please watch this video. And any time that you see a child do something that could become a behavior problem if you didn't intervene quick enough, hit this button."
And what we didn't tell the teachers was this, that there are going to be no challenging behaviors in any of the videos because they are all child actors. And that what we were really interested in was when we led you to believe that a child might misbehave, where did you look? Where did you look first? Where did you look most? Where did you go back? Because you must have missed something? And what we ultimately found was that teachers overwhelmingly looked more at Black children when they were led to believe that somebody is going to misbehave, especially the Black boy, and that that was true for teachers regardless of the race – White teachers, Black teachers, and brown teachers – because we all have implicit biases in us, and those biases predetermine who it is that we expect certain behaviors from.
So, when I said challenging behaviors, teachers looked more overwhelmingly at the Black children, especially the Black boy, which then raises this other question: What if I said, "This is a study to look for evidence of creativity, to look for evidence of brilliance and genius"? What would they have looked at then? Because ultimately, that's what biases are about; they're about expectations. Where do you expect certain behaviors to be happening? And if a teacher is looking more for challenging behaviors with the Black children, you know where she's going to find them? With the Black children, because that's where she's looking, she won't find it with the White children as often, because we're not looking there.
Interviewer: How does implicit bias harm children?
Dr. Gilliam: Implicit biases harm children because they lock them in boxes. When we have a bias about a child or about a group of children, we're basically pre-deciding in our mind what that child is capable of, what that child is not capable of, likely to do, not likely to do. And what that does ultimately is it locks children in boxes, boxes based on our expectations. My wife and I used to both be public school teachers many years ago, and we came to the conclusion that the most dangerous place in any school building is the one room where the children are not allowed to ever go. It's called the teacher's lounge. It's the place where expectations are shared from one teacher to the next. And those expectations then shape the way in which we look at individual children and lock them into those expectations in ways that are very hard for them to be able to break out of. If we have a certain set of expectations that children like this will always behave that way, it puts an extra burden on that child in that category to be able to prove our expectations wrong. And if there's anything that I've learned about people over the years that I've been studying psychology, it's this: It's hard to convince people that they're wrong. Once they have an ingrained set of expectations, to change those expectations are incredibly difficult. That's the stuff racial bias, and that's the stuff that racism itself is built on.
Jenille: If you would like to watch the entire interview with Dr. Gilliam, you can find it in our teacher time community or MyPeers. There is a link to information on how to join MyPeers in your viewer's guide. Dr. Gilliam's answer to the question of how do we know if our program has implicit bias is: Does your program have people in it? We all bring implicit biases to our programs, and as Dr. Gilliam mentioned, implicit bias can hurt children. As he said, one thing we know from research is that it disproportionately hurts children of color. It leads to higher rates of suspensions and harsher discipline for Black and Latino children. Even without suspensions, children are often removed from learning opportunities or sent home for the day what is sometimes called a soft suspension. This removal from learning opportunities takes away from vital school time and contributes to the achievement gap and can set children on a negative school trajectory. Young children who are expelled or suspended are as much as 10 times more likely to drop out of high school, experience academic failure and grade retention, hold negative school attitudes, and face incarceration than those who are not. In addition, not only might these experiences lead to the formation of negative school attitudes, but also, it also shapes their social identity, their perceptions about their classmates, about who belongs in the classroom, who's problematic, and so forth. So, what do we do? This is challenging stuff, but remember at the beginning we spoke about the personal work, so let's start there.
We have a suggestion from an article called "Creating an Anti-Racist Classroom," you can find a link to the article in the viewer's guide. Don't be afraid to ask yourself the tough questions. Who are your children ... Who are the children you're most likely to discipline or label? Who are the children whose parents you call the most? Who received your praise, and how often? Who do you provide with positive reinforcement? Do you have high expectations for all children? And how do you express your high expectations? If you're uncomfortable with your answers to any of these questions, don't panic. Just know you've got some personal work to do. We all do. Each minor action can have a cumulative effect on leveling the playing field for all of our kids.
Judi: Thank you, Jenille, and to continue helping us do some of this personal work, we're going to revisit one of the frameworks that we've looked at both of our previous webinars in this series and that's this framework we've seen, and it's called the Five A's. And this is the Five A's to explore growth toward racial and ethnic equity. And I'm going to walk us through this. And as you'll see, it's a cycle and the arrows go both ways. And so, it means that it doesn't just go in one way in a linear fashion. This is a framework that you can use to kind of do some of this personal, reflective work when you are thinking about some biases that you might have or if you're thinking about those questions that we just asked, if you're thinking about maybe some biases that Dr. Gilliam was speaking about or some of those questions that Jenille just brought up. And what we found is that working through these Five A's can sometimes be helpful with an example, so I'm just going to take a minute and be a little bit vulnerable and share an example that came up for me, a personal bias that I recognized. And I'll walk through the A's with you here, and just maybe give me a little bit of grace as I share a story where I became aware of a bias that I had.
So, recently, I was at the park with my boys and they were playing, and I saw a family that was having a birthday party. It was a very large family gathering. And I noticed that just from the clothes that they were wearing and the and the language they were speaking that they were definitely from a different country and a different culture from my own. And there was a little boy who came over. He was close to me where I was sitting, and I noticed that he was maybe three or four years old and he was holding a little bag of chips, and he was eating a bag of chips. And my very first thought was, "Oh, that's interesting that he's eating a bag of chips." And I looked over to where the family was, and I saw that they had on the table like a kind of a pile of different kinds of chips and a whole stack of juice boxes. And my thought was, like I thought it was really odd that they were eating chips and that they had juice boxes.
And I just thought it was very American, and I guess I wasn't thinking of them as being American. But as I looked at the children running around the playground and my children were playing with them, I realized they were American. Of course they were American. And why shouldn't they have chips and juice boxes at a birthday party? My kids have chips and juice boxes at a birthday party. So, there's the "A." That's the Aware. I became very aware that I had this bias toward this family that I just assumed that – I don't know – that maybe they should be eating something else at a party. I don't know what I thought they should be eating. I didn't think it should be chips and juice boxes. I very quickly moved to the Acknowledge. I recognized that I had this bias. I felt it right away. "Wow. Why did I think that these kids weren't anymore... Or why did I think that they were any less American than my own kids?"
I moved very quickly to Accept. This Accept, this is where do you make space for recognizing what happens and recognizing where there are feelings. There may be feelings about it. I made a mistake, and it went right to my heart. I knew that I made a very quick judgment. I felt something about it. I felt something very deep about it. And I wanted to do something about it.
And from there you can move to Appreciation. And then the appreciation is about knowing who you are, in this case knowing who I am and what the source was for my emotional reaction, appreciating where I am with my feelings and appreciating what those feelings were bringing to me. And also appreciating that I wasn't comfortable with those feelings. I didn't want to stay where I was with those feelings. I wanted to do something about how I was feeling and where that led me to ... Granted, this is a very quick movement through the cycle. It doesn't always happen this quickly, but in this case. But I knew that I needed to change that bias and do something about it.
So, I needed to Act. And part of that action definitely is learning more about what it means to be part of that culture, being raised as young children in the United States and kind of what it means to have a birthday party for these kids, but also the act actually part of that is sharing the story with you today. And so, I think that just having a framework for kind of working through our biases can help. And it doesn't always work that smoothly and it doesn't always work that quickly. I think just becoming aware and acknowledging and accepting that we have biases can be a first step. And sometimes the appreciation and acting maybe happen more slowly. Now, granted, that isn't the end. Notice that this is a cycle. So, that doesn't mean that my biases are all gone. I got to keep going through that cycle and keep working through it, so this is a cycle that doesn't end.
I also will say that I would encourage you to think about how you might take this framework, and you could use it with colleagues, you could use it with a trusted colleague or maybe with a coach, or even within your program, and think about how you could use this to build community in a safe and a trusted community, that if you have that space, this could be a great way to build community and start to build work toward anti-bias learning environments within the own spaces that you work in.
So, anyway, I just wanted to share that and thank you. Hopefully ... I'm not reading comments, but hopefully ... Thank you for allowing me to be vulnerable here. And I hope that in being
vulnerable here, I will encourage you to take a step toward being vulnerable and creating safe spaces for the children and families that you work with. Anyway, I think we're running out of time, so we're running late, or we got to move toward additional topics, so Treshawn, I think I have to hand it over to you.
Treshawn: Sure, and I so appreciate you sharing that story. I think we can all relate in whatever sense that it was, and you do have a couple of cheerleaders here that mention that you're very brave for sharing that personal story and modeling that we do all have biases. So, thank you for being transparent in that, because I do think that's one thing that helps us to uncover our biases and to think about and reflect on this, sharing our story. And if, in your programs, you have the space where you can talk with a colleague or talk with the supervisor about how you're feeling or thinking, creating that space to share these things will also help uncover your biases and then help you work on them as well, so thanks for that.
So, we're going to take this reflection process, these Five A's, and really apply it to the process of creating this anti-bias learning environment. We'll talk about this in terms of intentionally planning anti-bias environments, learning opportunities and interactions, and then also the opportunities that emerge as you respond to children's questions and observations. So, let's start with the definition of anti-bias education from the National Association for the Education of Young Children, or NAEYC, as we like to say. NAEYC defines anti-bias education as a way of teaching that supports children and their families as they develop a sense of identity in a diverse society. It helps children to learn to be proud of themselves and their families, respect a range of human differences, and recognize unfairness and biases, and speak up for the rights of others. That's a mouthful, but it's so important.
So, let's think about our learning environments first. Anti-bias learning environments begin with a safe, inclusive space that are inclusive of and represent all children. I know I was reading some of the comments during the welcome, and many of you thought that an anti-bias environment is inclusive and represents children, so you're right on target with that, and we appreciate those comments. But being inclusive and representing children requires open communication, like we shared before, sharing your stories with families, talking with families about their cultures and values and what's important to them and the communication with children about respect and care for each other in the learning environment. So, when you think of the learning environments that you support and work in – just looking around – can you see and feel that they represent the children and families and staff that spend the most time there? Does it look like somewhere you would want to be for three hours, four hours, five hours out of your day? I read an article that someone gave a teacher advice when thinking about the materials in the learning and space, and they mentioned that everything should serve two purposes. One, the learning environment should be a mirror of the children and the families in your program. So, when you look in your classrooms, the learning environment, does it mirror the children that are there every day? And then, two, it should be a window to the world. Your learning environment should be a window to the world. So, when you look into your classroom and your learning environments, do you see the world outside of you? Think about those things and add that element to your program. So, how do you ensure that children and their families are represented in the learning environment that you provide? As a home visitor, how do you make sure families are represented and included during socializations? Judi is going to share with us some simple strategies that we can use to make sure this happens.
Judi: Definitely. One simple strategy that I'm sure many of you already do is to just think about scanning the materials that you offer. Do you have art supplies so that children can not only represent themselves accurately, but so that they can see and create art that is important to them? Do you have books or images in the art area that show art that is important to you or that's representative of the various cultures that are represented? Do they see themselves represented in the artwork that's on the walls? Do you have dramatic play materials that have lots of materials that allow children to play out and represent their lived experiences, that represent the food that they eat? Dramatic play is where children felt self-regulation skills, and by including materials that are familiar to them, it engages them in a more focused and meaningful way. Are there opportunities for children to listen to and play music that's important to them? And again, for home visitors, it's important to encourage families and children to use the materials that are in their home and that they use daily.
Treshawn: That's right, and I'm an avid collector of children's books, so this is one of my favorite ways to expose children to different cultures and life experiences. The books you use with children and that they look at when they're playing on their own, play such an important role in this anti-bias learning environment. Take some time to look through the books in your classroom and your learning environments or those that you share with families. While it's so important that the characters in the story look and represent the children and families in your program. It's also important to recognize different things like who are the authors and what do they represent? Who are the characters and how are the characters represented? What do the characters say and do? Are they always grumpy or always upset about something? What are their roles that the characters play in the books? It's not enough just to have books with characters that look like the children that you work with. It's also important to make sure that the stories are very authentic and that the characters are represented positively. There are different types of families, men and women in different types of jobs and roles, people of all ages and abilities. So, you may ask, what if all the children in my classroom or in my caseload are White? Well, it's just as important to include books that show a wide range of diversity. It's also important to remember that every group is a multicultural group, because even when a group is racially or ethnically the same, there will be differences in family structure, class, religion, family values and other aspects of cultural and family values, so you want to keep that in mind as well.
Here's an infographic from an inventory of children's books that were published in 2018, so just two years ago, and this just looks at the characters that are depicted from diverse backgrounds. So, it doesn't look at whether the characters are depicted positively or negatively or in any kind of stereotypical roles. That'll be a deeper dive that you can take when exploring children's books for your own. But in 2018, just two years ago, the majority of children's books, 50% to be exact, depicted white characters. Now, we know that publishing companies and the industry is working to change these percentages, but how much do you think it's changed in two years?
How much has your classroom or program or community library changed over the years? That's what you have control over. If you know these numbers are true, you can take a look at your classroom inventory and try to beat these statistics if you can. So, we've included in the -- in the viewer's guide some helpful resources to help you review and select books for the children that represent the children and families in your programs.
Judi: OK, so those are some strategies for looking at the material, but let's get to the heart of anti-bias teaching and learning environments, which is the support that you provide each day for the children that you work with. So, the authors, Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards have developed a really simple framework with four core goals for anti-bias education. You can find a link to an article about these goals in the viewer's guide. I'm going to review them here quickly and talk about some strategies you can use to support your efforts to build children's sense of identity and belonging. And so, the goal here is ... Embracing these goals means that anti-bias practices are intentional and a regular part of your planned curriculum and interactions. And so, this isn't just in response to situations that come up or problems that need to be solved. It means that you are planful, and this is a regular part of your everyday interactions and learning opportunities, like anti-bias is what you do, and this is part of your goals for children every day.
So, the first goal is identity, and what identity means is helping children feel strong and proud of who they are and comfortable within their home culture and school culture. This goal is connected directly to our goals for children under that ELOF that we mentioned at the beginning, the sense of identity and belonging. So, what are some strategies that we've already talked about that can accomplish this? Definitely what we just mentioned: including materials that represent children and their families, celebrating the uniqueness that each child and family brings to our programs, and the unique culture that's created by all of us coming together each day. So, our programs, especially if we are a classroom or family child care, we create our own culture when we come together each day. At-home visitors, this means supporting families and using their daily activities and the materials that they have at home as learning opportunities and then looking for opportunities to represent children and families during socialization. So, identity is really that helping children feel strong and proud of who they are and comfortable with their culture. So, that is the key to that goal for identity. So, think about what you're doing daily. Make this that plan. Do my children feel strong? All of my children, each of my children, do they feel strong and proud of who they are? Next, diversity. We say diversity a lot, but let's think about this goal. Helping children recognize, celebrate – and this is a key – have the words to describe how people are the same and how they are different.
So, I think that we talk a lot about diversity, we talk about celebration. We recognize diversity. But especially ... And this is important for preschoolers to say the words – but also let's not neglect our infants and toddlers – we need to give them the words to describe how people are the same and how they're different. So, let's not forget that when we talk to infants and toddlers, we need to give them those words. And some might worry that teaching about diversity ignores appreciating similarities. I think we hear that a lot, that we are ignoring similarities, that this does not have to be. We celebrate our sameness and our differences.
There's a quote that I think is beautiful: "Differences do not create bias, children learn prejudice from prejudice, not from learning about human diversity." So, it's how people respond to difference that teaches bias and fear. How people respond to difference teaches bias and fear. So, what strategies can you use to achieve this goal? The key here, as I just mentioned, is giving children the vocabulary to describe similarities and differences. Let's not be afraid to give them that vocabulary. This means observing and listening to children as they play and talk. Notice when they notice similarities and differences, and then helping to expand their understanding. And it starts with the babies and the toddlers. So, when you read books with infants and toddlers, you can proactively call out the similarities and differences you notice. Celebrate that diversity that you observe, and this supports inclusion of all children, all families, recognizing and celebrating diversity we observe within our communities, including children with disabilities, children who come from all different kinds of families, people of all different ages and abilities, cultural traditions. We appreciate and value how these similarities and differences contribute to create our unique communities, to celebrate the diversity, all the kinds of diversity, and give children language to express and understand how people are the same and how they are different.
OK, next. Justice. This is a big one. It might sound weird for early childhood, but we can talk about justice in early childhood. This goal is about helping children learn empathy and fairness. Empathy can be learned, which means we need to teach it. And we can help children learn to solve problems rather than solving the problems for children. So, it's important to help children think about what is fair and to think critically and figure it out. And fairness is not always easy for children, but it's definitely something that they can work to figure out with support and when given the opportunity. And this actually relates to another sub-domain in the ELOF, relationship with other children. And our goals there for children are to be able to express feelings and needs and to use strategies to solve conflicts. So, for very young children, this doesn't necessarily mean asking how do you think that made him feel, or her feel. This is about how would you feel or how did you feel when ...? And that's an important distinction, because it's easier for children to think about fairness in terms of their own feelings than trying to imagine the feelings of someone else. So, even infants and toddlers can express empathy … And you may know this if you worked with babies, they show distress when other children are upset. So, you can use language to help them understand what they're feeling and to describe what their friend might be feeling. This is an important distinction. So, give children the opportunity to express empathy and to solve problems, and be there to support them. OK, last one: activism. Helping children learn to speak up when they see things that are wrong. This isn't tattling; it's about conflict resolution. So, we're going to support children in speaking up against teasing, excluding children, or name-calling based on identity. In terms of strategy, this goes beyond setting classroom rules at the beginning of the year. This is intentional. This is ongoing, not jumping in and solving problems for children, but supporting them in solving problems, fixing things, and allowing them to identify something that's wrong. Figuring out the solution together, or maybe even multiple solutions, and working toward resolutions. For older children, preschool, older preschoolers, this is definitely something that they can do as adults. We're still working on this one, right? And I think we can learn a lot from preschoolers; sometimes they're the ones who teach us about conflict resolution.
So, I know I just zipped through that, but the article that goes through this in more depth is in your resource -- in your viewer's guide. And so, I would encourage you to take a look at that and read through it. It's there for you in more depth. What I want to do is I want to take a minute to watch a video that will show you how these goals can be put into action in a preschool setting. So, as you watch, take some notes about the strategies that you hear and see. We're just going to take a minute to watch this video and then we're going to come back and talk about some actual strategies to put this into action. So, let's take a look.
Louise Derman-Sparks: One thing I've been seeing is ...
Reporter: Louise Derman-Sparks has written several books about teaching anti-bias to preschoolers.
Louise: The truth is that young children notice differences very early. By the age of three and four, they're asking questions. They're beginning to develop and to absorb the stereotypes and misinformation, discomforts, don't like to call it prejudices. It's kind of like pre-prejudice. So, the myth that they aren't noticing, the idea of being color blind actually harms kids.
Reporter: Derman-Sparks says preschool teachers who talk about the differences and similarities among their students create an environment where misinformation and fears can be addressed.
Louise: For instance, if you have dolls of different types and a child refuses to play with a doll that's got dark skin, teacher can say, "How come you don't want to play with so-and-so?" And depending on what the child says, you can then decide to help overcome whatever the discomfort is.
Francesca Conterno: We are all different ...
Reporter: That's exactly the atmosphere teacher Francesca Conterno hopes to create for her students at a public preschool.
Francesca: Look at this boy. What's different about his eyes compared to his eyes? His eyes are blue. Yes, his eyes are blue. And I see Marianna's got blue eyes, and you made blue eyes in your picture up there. What about Kim? What color are Kim's eyes? Girl: Black. Kids: Yeah!
Francesca: They're definitely black.
Reporter: Conterno teaches three- and four-year-olds in the Hayward Unified District. Someone might hear about a program like this and think, "Gosh, race and racism or highlighting differences – That's not something that should be done in a classroom, especially preschool classroom." How would you respond?
Francesca: I would say why not? It's the perfect setting. It is absolutely the perfect setting. We have families in the classroom. It's a safe place. People develop relationships. Perfect setup for honest conversations.
Reporter: Conterno does not ask children directly about fears or misconceptions about race. Instead, she believes materials that highlight equality can provide a powerful message in the classroom. Derman-Sparks agrees.
Louise: If most of the books show White people and very few show people of color, then that's a message for the teachers are White, or if the teacher's White but the assistants are always people of color, these are all messages to kids about who matters, who's visible, who's not, who has power.
Reporter: Conterno sees the sometimes-uncomfortable questions children do ask about race and gender as teachable moments.
Francesca: Too many times you see in classrooms, teachers will respond to that by "play nice" or "we're all friends in here," when it's a perfect opportunity to go a little bit deeper. Teacher: So, you see how, like, we have one shade of brown, we have even a lighter shade here, right? We have all of these different colors. So, I have a feeling there's probably more than two.
Treshawn: That's such a great video, and they did such a great job in showing so many real-life examples of how to implement this anti-bias learning environment, so that leads us to let's talk practical steps. So, in terms of planning, what can you do? Each week look at your lesson plans and ask yourself, "Are anti-bias goals a part of my weekly and daily curriculum and assessment plans? Does my curriculum and assessment plans include and represent each child? And are there any children's needs that are maybe unmet that I haven't touched in a while?" Think about those things. And then maybe looking at the materials, the books, we talked about that earlier. Look at the books you'll read for that week. Are there any books that may have some misconceptions or stereotypes about children that you have a question about? Maybe ask a colleague of a different cultural group than yours to help you review and maybe select some books that may be helpful. And then our interactions; it's so important to have plans in place for what you'll do when children say or do these unexpected things or unexpected questions, when they ask questions you aren't sure how to answer it.
Let's just admit right upfront that you may never really feel fully prepared to respond to questions in situations like this. It's really tough, but it's also essential for us as early educators to engage in this, be uncomfortable, and maybe not have all the answers. We need to learn right alongside the children. You can't ignore it because ignoring children's attention to these differences will unintentionally contribute to those prejudices and stereotypes that they gather from society. Silence about race and ethnicity and differences doesn't prevent children from noticing racial and other differences. Instead, your silence or our silence keeps them from asking these questions and having open conversations about it. They may feel worried about asking questions if you're not responding to them, so create this open space, an open environment that you would want to have in your environments.
Jenille: Speaking of interactions, Treshawn, we had some questions in the first webinar about how to manage difficult conversations from children, comments from children. For example, a child may say something about another child's complexion, like, "Look at Johnny's skin. Why is he so dirty?" Confusing dark skin with dirt is a common misconception among White preschool children. A teacher may be embarrassed by the child's comment and quickly respond by shushing the child or telling them to play nice, but this is actually a teachable moment. An appropriate response might have been, "Johnny's skin is not dirty. His skin is as clean as yours. It's just a different color, just like we have different color hair, eyes. People have different skin colors, too." If the child seems interested, an explanation about melanin could be added, saying, "Different colors exist because of melanin. It's natural and we're all different, but we're also all similar. We bleed, we cry, and we laugh." However, many teachers don't offer an explanation. They stop at silencing the child and not responding to the question or the reasoning underlying it, just like we found modeled in the earlier video.
These are great opportunities for honest conversations with children. It creates an open space for learning about these topics. So, children that have been silenced often learn not to talk about race publicly. Their questions don't go away. They just go unasked. The lesson for caregivers of young children is do not shush children or shut down the conversation, but instead engage in open, honest, frequent, and age-appropriate conversations about race, racial differences, and even racial inequity and racism. Research has shown that such conversations are associated with lower levels of bias in young children.
Judi: Thank you, guys. You know, these types of comments in-classroom can be really challenging and thanks, Jenille, for that example. I think that's one of many kinds of comments that we've heard. And I think we've even seen in the comments, some examples that staff have heard children ask, questions that children have asked that they don't know how to respond to. And I think what you said is really important, that silencing children is not the response.
Children learn that maybe that they should be ashamed to ask questions or that maybe they shouldn't talk about it. And that's not what we want to do. That type of comment is something that we would call an entry point. This is an opportunity to engage children in meaningful dialog about their understanding of race. And it's what we would do with just about any question where a child is curious about something or expressing a question or a curiosity about the world that they live in.
And so, one of the things that we're going to do just in the last few minutes that we have left is we're going to provide you with another framework that we think might be helpful to address situations like this. And on this slide, it's going to be pretty small. But again, in the resource guide – sorry, in the viewer's guide that we've provided you – there is a link to an article that provides this framework. And so, you can, if you've downloaded the viewer's guide, you'll be able to access this link. It's called the Framework for anti-bias teaching. And this is from an article in "Young Children." These authors have developed this framework that's really helpful in working through some of these situations that come up. This is helpful for two things. One, this entry point can be a conversation or an interaction that children have or a question that might come from a child or a comment that a child has, an entry point. What are children, teachers, families thinking about? It could also be something that you bring up yourself. It could be a book that you read or something that happened in your community or something that comes up that a family member brings up. So, from this entry point you want to think about ... Here are some examples: things that you see in children's play, things that maybe are happening in the news or in your community, things that families are talking about. Things that you observe from your children and families. Anyway, so these are all possible opportunities for you to address situations or things that are coming up for your children and families. Those are your entry points.
Now, from there where you want to go are feelings that are coming up for you. And again, this goes back to maybe you might have to go to your Five A's framework, right? To think about what your feelings are. You might have feelings with Jenille's example, right? If you hear a child say that some child's skin is dirty, that might bring up feelings for you initially. So, what are your reactions? You might have personal experiences. You might have feelings. This could be an opportunity for you to have conversations, either with a staff member or your own family, or you might have to have a reflection on your own based on the situation. Thinking, so based on the situation, and again, depending on what the situation is. If there is an interaction between two children, you might not have time to think or feel. You might need to respond immediately, but if it's a community situation or if there's some theme coming up with the children in your classroom that you feel like you need to address, you might have the opportunity to think, "What is something that we need to explore?" You know, maybe you're noticing that there are some children who seem to be excluding other children and you're noticing that this is something that's coming up. Or there might be some children who seem to be expressing that they want to play with some children more than other children. Or there might be some children who start to express that they're noticing some similarities or differences that you want to explore. So, now there's some time to plan individually, with your team or with your colleagues. This might be a time to talk with a coach – if you have a coach. With a co-teacher, you might want to do some research. "What do I need to know? What do children at this age know and understand?" You might want to go look at the ELOF, what do we need to know about what children know and understand about their sense of identity? And again, I think this at the bottom is key. Whether an issue feels appropriate to discuss with the program's children and families, it's really important.
Next, we have responding. How do you implement a curriculum that supports learning? Go to your curriculum. What does your curriculum say about this topic? Think about responding in the moment, responding long-term, revisiting or expanding on the issue with children, and then making the topics accessible to children. Remember, these are very young children. What's appropriate? How does this topic work with children at the age that you're working with?
Obviously, it's going to be different for a two-year-old than it would be for a five-year-old. And what's meaningful to children? What's accessible to children? And then finally, sharing anti-bias learning by communicating the process and the outcomes. Consider how you share with children, teachers, colleagues, the families, and even with the field, how you communicate what you've learned with others. So, this is a framework for anti-bias teaching. It's not written in stone, but I think it's a really helpful guide that you could use to think about how you could approach these moments that may come up for you. Again, it could be in the moment. It could be kind of larger themes that are coming out for you, just a way for you to reflect on what you're experiencing or what you may have experienced. And again, you could go back to the Five A's and do some reflection on your own if things are coming up for you personally, just as a way to think about your practice and how you can have an impact, if you think way back to when we started, impacting that personal and interpersonal work in that larger system of impacting a system that's going to ultimately result in some racial and ethnic equity in our early childhood system.
OK, so that was a lot of frameworks. That's a lot of thinking. And I can see from the comments, there are a lot of ... You guys are already doing lots of thinking, and there's a lot of conversation going on. And I think there's so much that we can't do in an hour-and-a-half webinar. But what I do want to leave you with is a couple of things. One, in the viewer's guide. We have asked you to take an action step. Are there entry points that you're already thinking of, things that you've already observed in children's play, heard from families? Some of you have already told us in the chat that there are some things that have already come up for you, some questions that you have, things obviously that ... We have things in the news, things that our families have told us. Take some time over the next few days to walk through these steps maybe or go through the Five A's, maybe talk to a trusted colleague or a coach. Think about how you can intentionally work to take a step, one step toward more racially equitable and anti-bias learning environments. Maybe go back to those four goals for anti-bias learning environments. Think about one step that you want to take toward intentionally putting some plans into place, toward creating those anti-bias learning environments where you work. Just make one step.
Make a plan to make one step.
And I'm going to leave you with this quote, and I'll leave you with a couple of opportunities to keep engaging with a community that is like-minded. So, let me give you this quote and then I'm going to give you a couple of resources. But this is where I think we can be and maybe be here with me because this is where I'm at. But read this with me: "We can start talking about race even if we don't have all the answers." That's where I am right now. I don't have all the answers. "We can start talking about race, even if we are afraid, we will say the wrong thing." And trust me, I've been here for the last hour and a half afraid I'm going to say the wrong thing. "It is inevitable that we will make mistakes and that is part of the process. But if we commit to collectively trying to talk about race with young children, we can learn – lean on one another for support as we together envision a world where we actively challenge racism each and every day. It starts with one conversation at a time." So, please commit at the very least to having one conversation.
And thank you for engaging in the conversation today. At least you did that. And I appreciate you for being here for this conversation today. And please commit to having a conversation beyond this with someone today. And I see so many of you have asked for these slides and I'm trying to look and see maybe somebody can tell me there's a link to slides. Someone could tell me if we can get the slides for you. I'll see if I can find that before the end of this, if we can get you the slides, then we'll try to get you the slides. And if you would like to have continued conversations, I know we've mentioned this before, but MyPeers, for those of you ... Oh, good. Some of you just said, if you refresh, the slides are now in the event resources tab. So, we put them up there for you. So. So, they are there for you now. Thank you so much. They should be there for you now. And in the viewer's guide, there is a link to where you can go to sign up for MyPeers. It's an online community, and there's also a link in the answered questions. Thank you so much, so in the answered questions, you should also be able to get a link to download the slides. If you join MyPeers, that – if you look on this slide – there's that tree, that is our Teacher Time community, where we have a link to Dr. Gilliam's full video. And that's also where we're going to continue this conversation. A lot of you ask questions that ... And our people in our Q&A are trying to keep up with all your questions. But we promise to get to some of your questions that we weren't able to get to today. And we, you can go in there and we promise you we will be there to continue this conversation. We will post some more of our resources in there. And if you join MyPeers, if you go to that link and you click on it today, it does take a couple of days to get and moving and to get access to MyPeers, but please join us there. There are like-minded people there who will be happy to join the conversation with you in MyPeers.
And we would love to see you there.
Additionally, I don't want to leave you without saying that next week, if you would like to register for the final webinar in this series, it will be next week on September 17th. Health Disparities: Responding with a Lens on Race and Ethnicity. That will be next week. I believe it's at the same time from 3:00 to 4:30. You can click to register here. And then finally, on September 23rd, for the coaches out there in our group – I did see that we have some coaches out there – DTL, NCECDTL will be hosting the Coaching Corner webinar, Putting it Into Practice. We will be providing resources and strategies to promote anti-bias teaching and home visiting practices. That will be on September 23rd from 3:00 to 4:30. So, again, there's a link to register, and we would love to see you there. OK, so, from us, Jenille and Treshawn and the Office of Head Start, we'd like to thank you for being here with us today. Thank you so much for your comments. And again, if we didn't get to your questions, we will do our best to get to your questions in MyPeers. Please see us over there in the Teacher Time Community. And Jenille and Treshawn, we have three minutes. If you'd like to jump on and just say goodbye. Thank you so much for being here with me. I really appreciate your support. Come on back on and say any last words.
Treshawn: Yes, hi, everyone. This was such a great conversation, and I hope you took some of our examples and some of our tips and strategies and you're able to implement some of these things in your learning environments tomorrow. You know, what better time than to start tomorrow? And so, don't be afraid to have conversations. Open your learning environments for children to have conversations with you, highlight our differences, highlight our similarities.
And, you know, we're building a better world for tomorrow. So, I appreciate all the work that you guys are doing with children. Showing up to this webinar just proved that you're ready to take that next step and really provide a great anti-bias learning environment for your children, so appreciate you being here and listening to everything that we had to say today.
Jenille: Yes, I second that, Treshawn, for sure, and I just want to echo Brandi's comments from the first webinar in terms of giving yourself grace, this is difficult and messy work, and it's not easy, but with honesty and grace, we can all progress. So, thank you for joining us today.
Judi: Yes. Thank you so much. Thank you for being here, and have a great rest of your afternoon. Thank you.Close
This webinar focuses on supporting anti-bias teaching practices and promoting inclusive learning environments in Head Start settings. Explore children's understanding of race and identity development. Discover strategies to promote anti-bias practices through supportive interactions and activities with children.
Note: The evaluation, certificate, and engagement tools mentioned in the video were for the participants of the live webinar and are no longer available. For information about webinars that will be broadcast live soon, visit Upcoming Events.