Anti-bias Instruction

The rising educator analyzes the underlying strategies and active practices of anti-bias instruction that skilled educators implement and sustain.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

The rising educator identifies and evaluates successful strategies for implementing and sustaining the critical components of anti-bias instruction.

Method Components

Critical Components of Anti-Bias Instruction

Skilled educators understand that anti-bias instruction is a cornerstone of effective teaching practice. A focus on anti-bias instruction allows teachers to create learning spaces in which differences are embraced. By facilitating instruction that reflects the rich diversity of the classroom, community, and world, teachers can open students’ minds and engage them more deeply in learning while fostering critical thinking and empathy development.

Teaching Tolerance, a research-based project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has identified five critical components of anti-bias instruction; these components are outlined below. These five components are alive and present in skilled teachers’ work, and they make up the framework for this micro-credential.

Critical Component #1: Critical Engagement with Material

Critical engagement requires questioning, forming, and challenging opinions. It involves helping individuals find their voices and learn to trust their instincts as well as teaching the value of what students know and encouraging them to use their knowledge in the service of their academic, personal, social, and political lives.

Critical Component #2: Differentiated Instruction

Rather than bringing a “one size fits all” mentality to curriculum and learning, teachers who practice differentiated instruction vary and adapt their strategies to fit individual students needs, backgrounds, skill levels, talents, and learning profiles. This approach actively honors and addresses student diversity.

Critical Component #3: Cooperative and Collaborative Learning

Working in small groups can help students achieve collaborative goals, deepen their understanding, and foster intergroup relationships. Classmates pool their knowledge and skills, answer one another’s questions, and solve problems as a team. When done well, this practice crosses lines of social identity and academic achievement, supports equitable access to content knowledge, and broadens participation.

Critical Component #4: Real-World Connections

It’s important to help students connect what they learn to their lives and to the world around them. Research has shown that meaningful connections between learning and real life promote student engagement, positive identity development, and achievement.

Critical Component #5: Values-Based Assessment, Evaluation, and Grading

How can a system of classroom evaluation, assessment, and grading instill values such as equity, collaboration, justice, and respect for diversity? Teachers can reflect on this question as they align their own evaluation and grading policies with classroom, school, and community priorities.

Suggested Activities

Rising educators are strongly encouraged to explore the material in the Resources section of this micro-credential, especially the documents published by Teaching Tolerance, which include more detailed explanations of the five critical components.

The rising educator should seek to earn this micro-credential after developing a deep understanding of the critical components of anti-bias instruction. Rising educators are encouraged in their daily lives as students to informally observe their own learning spaces for anti-bias instructional practices and to discuss and analyze their findings with peers and adults.

To prepare a submission for this micro-credential, rising educators should visit the same learning environment (and not their own classroom where they are students) as observers at least two times for at least 40 minutes per visit. These observations will form the source material for demonstrating what the rising educator learned about anti-bias instruction in the micro-credential submission.

The learning environment that the rising educator will observe does not need to be one they visited prior to working on the micro-credential submission. As an observer, the rising educator will be a “fly on the wall” taking detailed notes through the lens of the five critical components of anti-bias instruction.

Educators Rising Standards Alignment

This micro-credential is aligned to the following Educators Rising Standards:

I. Understanding the Profession
II. Learning About Students

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Lin, M., Lake, V.E., & Rice, D. (2008). Teaching anti-bias curriculum in teacher education programs: What and how. Teacher Education Quarterly, 35(2), 187-200. Retrieved from


Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To complete the application for this micro-credential, the rising educator will complete the Educators Rising Anti-Bias Instruction submission form. To earn the micro-credential, the rising educator must earn a score of “Highly Skilled” or “Commendable” on all components of the Part 1, 2, and 3 rubrics. If the rising educator does not earn the micro-credential, he/she is encouraged to reflect on where the submission fell short, address those areas successfully per the rubric, and resubmit. Remember to download the Educators Rising Anti-Bias Instruction submission form for compiling your submission here:

Part 1. Overview Questions

  • Instructional Context Overview: Complete the questionnaire provided in the submission form.
  • My Perspective Essay: Compose a well-developed essay based on the following prompt (500-word maximum; use the provided submission form).
    • Describe two experiences you have had as a learner in which your teacher succeeded in facilitating anti-bias instruction. Describe specific strategies the teacher implemented to do this and what that meant for you and your peers. Use the five critical components of anti-bias instruction as a guide for framing the experiences your teacher facilitated.

Part 2. Artifacts

Observation Notes: Visits 1 and 2

Use the spaces on the submission form to write what you observed during your visits to the learning spaces. Your notes should relate directly to the critical components in each section.

Tips to make your note-taking most effective:

  • Focus on the critical components of anti-bias instruction. It’s impossible to document everything you observe! Stay focused on what matters, and avoid cluttering your notes with information that isn’t relevant to examples of how anti-bias instruction is implemented and sustained.
  • Be specific and descriptive. Use descriptive words to document what you observe. You can even include quotes from the teacher or students that bring these concepts to life.
  • Make note of your insights and thoughts as you observe. As you observe, jot down why you are making note of this activity, quote, classroom setup, etc. You could simply write “ex. of differentiation.” This will help you remember the importance of the event when you write your notes or essays later.

Part 3: Reflection

Compose a reflective essay using the following guiding questions (500-word maximum; use the provided submission form).

  • In what specific ways did the learning space you observed succeed in facilitating anti-bias instruction at all times? In what specific ways did it fall short?
  • What are your recommendations to strengthen students’ access to anti-bias instruction in the learning space you observed?
  • What are your specific plans to prepare yourself to implement and sustain anti-bias instruction in the future when you have the main responsibility for a learning space?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
Requirements for Anti-bias Instruction
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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