About the High School Curriculum
The Anti-Bias Study Guide (Secondary Level) is for educators to use primarily with students in grades 9–12 as supplementary material to enhance existing curricula. The materials have been designed to assist educators and students in exploring ways to ensure that the tenets of freedom and equality on which this country was built become realities. This anti-bias curriculum includes 32 lesson plans organized into five instructional units. The lesson plans encourage young people to: (1) explore societal issues arising from bias, bigotry and discrimination; (2) improve critical-thinking skills; (3) examine diverse viewpoints; and (4) take leadership roles in promoting justice and equity in their schools, communities and society at large.
A CD accompanies the Anti-Bias Study Guide (Secondary Level) that includes all Student Handouts (English and Spanish Versions), lists of Additional Resources for Students and Educators and Correlations of Lessons to the National Standards.
The material in this anti-bias curriculum fits most naturally in Social Studies and English classes; however, it is also connected to other subject areas, providing excellent opportunities for team teaching and cross-discipline learning. An integrated approach to anti-bias education is significantly more powerful than one that asks young people to think about prejudice and discrimination only on certain days or with particular teachers.
Schools in the United States have long played a vital role in supporting the nation’s democratic ideals. Providing all students with a quality education—one in which academic and social development are inseparable goals—is essential to creating equal access to opportunity and fostering responsible citizenship.
Educational environments that reflect the rich diversity of the community, nation and world assist in opening young people's minds and actively engaging them in their own learning. Research has shown that prejudice is countered when schools and classrooms foster critical thinking, empathy development and positive self-esteem in young people.
Anti-bias education is a comprehensive approach to learning designed to actively challenge stereotyping, prejudice and all forms of discrimination. Creating inclusive, respectful classrooms where young people feel comfortable talking about difficult but important issues is an ongoing effort and working for social justice is a life-long endeavor. To prepare for successful learning of anti-bias concepts in the classroom, teachers should consider some criteria for creating positive, anti-bias environments where respect for diversity is taught, modeled and experienced firsthand.
With comprehensive anti-bias education, the mastery skills that participants acquire include the following:
- Young people understand the various dimensions of identity and apply this understanding to their thinking and behavior.
- Young people develop an understanding of basic terms and concepts relating to prejudice and discrimination and apply this understanding to their interactions with others.
- Young people increase their understanding of the impact of culture on communication and apply this understanding to their interactions with others.
- Young people develop the capacity to recognize and acknowledge bullying, prejudice and discrimination in themselves, in others and within institutions.
- Young people develop and put into practice skills to challenge bullying, bias and discrimination in themselves and others.