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Leadership Matters

by Louise Derman-Sparks, John Nimmo, and Debbie LeeKeenan
November/December 2015
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Article Link: https://www.childcareexchange.com/article/leadership-matters/5022608/

Anti-bias endeavors are part of a proud and long educational tradition — one that continues to seek and to make the dream of justice and equality a reality. It happens day by day, and calls on our best teaching, relationships, and leadership skills.
— Derman-Sparks, LeeKeenan, & Nimmo (2015, p. 164) 

An anti-bias approach puts diversity and equity aspirations at the center of all aspects of a program’s organization and daily life. This is an activist approach in which children’s developing identity, and their questions, observations, and ideas about diversity and bias, shape the education we provide (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). The program’s vision, mission, policies, procedures, learning environment, and curriculum all come into play. In sum, it is a “process, not an event” (Kugelmass, 2004, p. 6), which happens in stages over time. 

The leader of an early childhood care and education program plays a central role in cultivating anti-bias education change. She must be intentional and strategic, planning for the long haul — as well as the steps that get a program to its goals. An anti-bias perspective informs everything the leader does. She also must understand the risks of change, as well as be aware of her own fears, ...

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