Pacific Oaks College and the Development of an Anti-Bias Curriculum
In 1945, on the heels of the second World War, six local families in Pasadena, California came together and opened the Pacific Oaks Children’s School with the belief that everyone has an inner light that is worth nurturing. Through the Quaker values of community, equality, and peace, they believed they could offer a progressive education philosophy that would help the world heal. As the post-war children engaged with their teachers, it became apparent that their progressive education model of inclusion and self-discovery could inform and inspire future educators. In 1958, Pacific Oaks College was established to train educators to make an impact in their communities through successful careers in Early Childhood Education. In 1989, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) published Anti-Bias Curriculum: Tools for Empowering Young Children, by Louise Derman-Sparks (Faculty Emeritus) and the Anti-Bias Curriculum Task Force (Pacific Oaks Children’s School teachers and Pacific Oaks College alumni). The first of its kind, Professor Sparks’ work changed the landscape of early childhood education—introducing curriculum that empowers children and promotes critical thinking about bias.
Louise Derman-Sparks and the Anti-Bias Curriculum
Louise Derman-Sparks has worked for over 50 years on issues of diversity and social justice as a preschool teacher at the Perry Preschool Project, child-care center director, and as a human development faculty member at Pacific Oaks College.
She is an activist, author and coauthor of several books, including Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, and What if All the Kids are White? Anti-Bias/Multicultural Education for Young Children and Families, and numerous articles. She speaks, conducts workshops, and consults on anti-bias education with children and adults throughout the United States and internationally. Louise is now retired as a professor emerita.
For more information about Louise and her Anti-Bias work, visit her website at: http://www.antibiasleadersece.com/