The rising educator identifies and evaluates successful strategies for implementing and sustaining the 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This micro-credential is aligned to the following Educators Rising Standards:
I. Understanding the Profession
II. Learning About Students
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: http://bit.ly/EdRisingAntiBias
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:
Compose a reflective essay using the following guiding questions (500-word maximum; use the provided submission form).
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