Anti-Bias Education at Hilltop

At Hilltop, our wish is to nurture within each child a disposition to speak for peace, tolerance, and justice. In our classrooms and programs we are pursuing the four core goals of anti-bias education for young children, as outlined in the book Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards:

  • Each child will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities
  • Each child will express comfort and joy with human diversity; accurate language for human differences; and deep, caring human connections
  • Each child will increasingly recognize unfairness, have language to describe unfairness, and understand that unfairness hurts
  • Each child will demonstrate empowerment and the skills to act, with others or alone, against prejudice and/or discriminatory actions

We recognize that anti-bias work is about more than skin color, so we talk with children about the range of people that make up our Hilltop community and the wider world. We take care with the words and beliefs we express. Social problem solving is a present part of our daily lives together. We challenge children to articulate their feelings and support them in working towards mutually agreeable solutions. By emphasizing alternate-perspective-taking, we help children advocate for themselves and recognize the needs of others. Faculty engage in ongoing professional development around anti-bias work to challenge our own biases, hone our anti-bias teaching practices, and gain further skill in supporting children’s individual identities and home cultures. In addition, we develop, with children, in-depth study projects that engage them in social justice thinking and work.

Elementary Student Draws Self-Portrait