*Louise Derman-Sparks​*
louisedermansparks.jpg picture source: http://www.pacificoakssos.com/DermanSparksAnalysis/tabid/90/Default.aspx

Louise Derman-Sparks is a wife, mother, educator and author. As a long time human development faculty member at Pacific Oaks College, now Professor Emeritus (retired professor), she worked as an early childhood educator teacher and program director with young children and their families. She has conducted workshops and consults through the United States and the rest of the world. Ms. Derman-Sparks is the mother of two children (son and daughter), named Douglass and Holly. She has also been an activist for social justice for 40 years.


She currently serves on the:
  • National Board of Crossroads Ministry: An Interfaith and Community-Based Anti-Racism Training Organization
  • National Diversity Advisory Council of the Boys and Girla Clubs of America

A former member of the:

  • Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (1998-2002)

Here is a video about three imperatives, valuing and anti-bias curriculum, promoting collaborative research and investing in early childhood education.








The anti-bias curricular approach is the most common multicultural curricular approach that explains how children develop identity in relationship to race, gender, and disability by showing how exposure to bias in society's impacts children and the people around them. It has said to have devolped from the multiculturalism movement. It can also be described as an activist approach which claim "challenges forms of prejudice such as racism, sexism, ableism/disablism, ageism, homophobia, and other –isms."

The object or idea they want is that awareness should be created and instead of just presenting one case to a situation you present many. This allows the students to see the many differnt possiblities to a single situation.

"Anti-bias education takes an active, problem solving approach that is intergrated into all aspects of an existing curriculum and a school's environment"

A way this has been used in classrooms is by having "Culture Days" of "Culture Fairs." Which students are able to share with classmates, friends and family about their culture. Also a good article we found about a school that has a school culture day every year, to share and show the diversity amoung students.

The approach is trying to get educators to be aware of the socail limitations in a classroom and throughout the school. It is intended to teach children about ACCEPTANCE, TOLERANCE, and most importantly RESPECT.


Principles of anti-bias classroom:

  • Enables children to have strong esteem and sence of self, making them feel good but not superior about their identity
  • Helps children to feel more comfortable with one another and with each of their differences, they can feel empathy towards each other
  • Helps children to think critically and seriously about how they, along with other children, feel when encountering inequalities
  • Allows children to decipher between fair and unfair treatment
  • Allows children to stand up for themselves and thers when faced with discrimination and predisposition

An approach to anti bias considers the following principles: differences are good and they exist and can be enriching and what one person says in not the only way or the right way--things can be done in many different ways.

Four steps towards an anti-bias classroom (from Hall and Rhomberg)

  1. Realization: by the adults of their own attitudes in relation to the area of bias
  2. Recognition: of these attitudes leads to an understanding of personal values and biases
  3. Awareness: of these attitudes and there orgins
  4. Acknowledgement: of biases
The complete slide show which these four steps can be found


Louise Derman-Sparks has been an author and co-author of many books, articles and chapters of books. The book that she is most famous for regarding anti-bias curriculum is "Tools for Empowering Young Children" it has been said that "This is possibly the best book for the early child/primary level on how to teach about all forms of bias and what to do about it. A useful resource for parents as well as providing the basics for all teachers. (Bias/appreciate diversity/resource/general)"

This is a list of some of her works:

In her one of her books she mentions that what she is really trying to do is help children "appreciate their identity." She also states in "What If All the Kids Are White?: Anti-bias Multicultural Education With Young Children And Families" four goals of anti-bias education. The Four goals can be found on page 5 of her book. Within the book each of the autors wrote a little something about themselves she states:


This is a short video about anti-bias education. Youtube: Here I Stand



"A common saying among educators working to promote children's appreciation of diversity is that there is no gene for racism. Thus, they believe that even though children may initially develop and act on intolerant attitudes, they can be educated to value human differences."
-Wendy Schwartz



Chelsea Holmes, Janna Mailhot, and Joni Mailhot