The Anti-bias Framework (ABF) is a set of anchor standards and age-appropriate learning outcomes divided into four domains—identity, diversity, justice and action (IDJA). The standards provide a common language and organizational structure: Teachers can use them to guide curriculum development, and administrators can use them to make schools more just, equitable and safe. The ABF is leveled for every stage of K-12 education and includes school-based scenarios to show what anti-bias attitudes and behavior may look like in the classroom.
Teaching about IDJA allows educators to engage a range of anti-bias, multicultural and social justice issues. This continuum of engagement is unique among social justice teaching materials, which tend to focus on one of two areas: either reducing prejudice or advocating collective action. Prejudice reduction seeks to minimize conflict and generally focuses on changing the attitudes and behaviors of a dominant group. Collective action challenges inequality directly by raising consciousness and focusing on improving conditions for under-represented groups. The ABF recognizes that, in today’s diverse classrooms, students need knowledge and skills related to both prejudice reduction and collective action.
The IDJA domains are based on Louise Derman-Sparks’ four goals for anti-bias education in early childhood. The Teaching Tolerance Anti-bias Framework was prepared under the guidance of Teaching Tolerance Director Maureen Costello. The principle writer was Emily Chiariello, with Julie Olsen Edwards, Sara Wicht and Natalie Owen contributing. Sixteen educators on the 2012 Teaching Tolerance Advisory Board provided feedback. The Framework was edited by Alice Pettway and designed by Sunny Paulk.
The Anti-bias Framework was developed to support the Perspectives for a Diverse America K-12 curriculum. For more information about Perspectives, visit http://perspectives.tolerance.org.
To learn more about how to incorporate the anti-bias framework into your practice, check out these professional development modules.