Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas: Without the Bias!

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“Let’s learn about the Pilgrims and Indians!”  On second thought… let’s try something different.

As Fall semester coincides with several major US and commercial holidays, it is important to think about whether or not we address these occasions in our classroom, and if so, how we do in a way that isn’t biased and perpetuating bias.    The NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) has a few thoughts and tips for an anti-bias approach to holidays:

1. Halloween:  http://www.naeyc.org/content/anti-bias-guide-holidays/halloween

2. Thanksgiving:  http://www.naeyc.org/content/anti-bias-guide-holidays/thanksgiving

Please also remember that the day after Thanksgiving, “Black Friday” is National Native American Heritage Day, and the contributions and struggles of Native Americans may be an excellent redirection of focus.

3. Christmashttp://www.naeyc.org/content/anti-bias-guide-holidays/december-holidays

Check out “Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves” by Louise Derman-Sparks & Julie Olsen Edwards for more information.  http://www.naeyc.org/store/node/17122

Also, as Columbus Day approaches and children all across America are taught a fictitious version of history, and one that is completely Eurocentric in perspective and devoid of Native American perspectives and history, consider investigating the book “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years”, edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson, for lesson plans and classroom resources.    http://www.rethinkingschools.org/ProdDetails.asp?ID=094296120X

Thanks to Natalie Goodnow and Cassie for sharing!

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