Anti-bias curriculum is an approach to education that presents ethical principles and moral approaches in supporting respect and inclusivity among all people. This all-embracing and all-encompassing way of teaching is essential in all schools in order to combat bias and inequality among all individuals. Anti-bias instruction can be taught to both children and adults alike, but it requires people to put their critical thinking skills to work.
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It is through this information that we, as human beings, can begin to battle against the thick barriers of bias, misinformation, and prejudice. I propose that Nelsonville Local Schools implement a program of anti-bias workshops on race as a point of entry for a communal respect for ourselves, each other, and all people in our world.
As our contemporary society continues farther into the 21st century, educators at all levels are working to respond to not only the educational needs of our students but also to societal needs of our people. From this societal standpoint, our world places a huge value on one’s identity. Our human history has taught us that it is a fiery conversation and often results in conflict, making “race” one of the most challenged areas of one’s identity. Race, in this way, is essentially a classification and categorization of people based on their appearance, language, and cultural traits. As we consider this knowledge, it becomes obvious that race is an incredibly complex concept in the socio-political realm. “Institutional racism,” or “systemic racism,” is a type of racism that is specifically found in various social and political institutions—including schools. Our textbook affirms, “Many incarcerated peoples of Color have attended under-funded and deteriorating schools, have had poor access to health care, have historically been denied mortgages and other wealth building programs, and have received inequitable treatment in every other major institution that would have given them and their children an equal starting point in life (Alexander, 2010)” (129).
The authors explain that it is not an individual-based fault, but instead one of society, and the way that we break down the problem is the way that people respond to it. The author continues, “But if we perceive the problem as one of structural racism, we might change the way we fund schools, ensure that every family has affordable access to health care and social services, work to decrease racial profiling, and change the policies that allow wealth to be ever more concentrated in fewer hands” (130). I found this quote to be one of the most compelling statements in the entire text because it showcases connected issues that are affected by racism as well as different approaches to tackling this societal fault. Leaders on a federal level as well as images on different types of media coverage can impact the way that we think and feel about these issues as well.
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