Exploring Our Anti-Bias Curriculum

Anti-biasWe live in a diverse society with many different voices, perspectives, and identities. At Hamlin we work diligently to provide an education that allows our students to flourish and rejoice in the pluralistic world that is the United States. With this goal in mind, the lower school faculty (grades K-4) recently participated in a Hamlin teacher-led workshop focused on sharing facets of our anti-bias curriculum. “An anti-bias curriculum is one that challenges prejudice and stereotypes related to racism, sexism, classism and more.”

The workshop began with an overview of our library resources. Hamlin has arguably the best collection of diverse books in the San Francisco Bay Area. We have titles that focus on activism, identity, culture, language, and social justice (among others). The teacher facilitators made a point of stating, “we appreciate the nuance within identity, we explore what makes everyone special and unique.” On a daily basis, our library program reinforces this emphasis, as students delve deeply into stories that mirror our multi-layered world.

Later in the workshop, the lower school faculty was divided into two groups to participate in hands-on activities. One group created self-portraits using painting to observe the different “shades of people.” The goal was to use art to speak respectfully about skin color, appreciating the beauty inherent in everyone’s unique hue. The other group focused on exploring names. The lesson asked participants to answer the following questions (among others): who picked your name? how did they decide on your name? does your name have a personal or cultural meaning to your family? The activity addressed identity, while building community, by forging a newfound appreciation for ways that people are both similar and different. For the last activity, teachers were given a folded piece of paper. On the “outside” they drew a self-portrait, on the “inside” they wrote at least one thing about themselves that someone wouldn’t know by just looking at them.

Special thanks to Hamlin faculty members, Debra Cardone, Jennifer Phillips, Monica DeSantiago, and Lisa Dutton for leading this engaging and important workshop.

To explore our diverse library resources please visit: http://hamlin.libguides.com/content.php?pid=702353


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