Eliminating Bias in Holiday Education

holiday-educationWhen it comes to the holidays, many educators face the dilemma of exactly what to teach kids about the holiday. While teachers may have certain beliefs and traditions, teaching these in the classroom can cause controversy. The book Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olson Edwards can help teachers to understand some basic ways to manuever delicately around these issues while providing children with information to draw their own conclusions.

Holiday Push

From October to December, children are inundated with different information about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. This information can be difficult to sift through. The meanings of the holidays are often given by people that are emotionally and spiritually invested in the holiday, such as religious leaders and practicers. Teachers can help to add facts about the holidays such as information about the origins and why different customs were originally practiced. This can help to eliminate biases and prejudices surrounding the holidays, making for more harmonious relations between children with different beliefs. Fostering understanding about the holidays may make more diverse and fun holiday celebrations. These tidbits of information may also help children to appreciate the holidays even more. Parents should be informed about the curriculum and invited to participate in holiday celebrations and activites.

Other Anti-Bias Topics

The book Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves also includes many other themes that can be incorporated into regular classroom teachings to encourage children to learn about different religions, cultures, family structures, economic classes, gender identities, and more. These subjects are all highly sensitive and must be taught with delicacy. As with holiday teachings, parents should be informed of the teachings ahead of time so that discussions can take place and the themes can be taught in  a way that is accepatable to parents.

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