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The History of Pacific Oaks and Development of an Anti-Bias Curriculum
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/
What age should children learn about racism?
Anti-Bias Thesis Spotlight
ANTI-BIAS AND PARTNERSHIP EDUCATION
Case Study submission by Sonya Castellanos, April, 2008
Chair: Louise Derman-Sparks
Committee: Betty Jones & Karen Fite
Anti-Bias Thesis Statement
"The critical barriers are ignorance, fear, awkwardness and inaction. What is lacking and desperately needed are opportunities to raise consciousness with more down-to-earth writings and open discussions about these taboo subjects in safe, nurturing, inclusive, respectful circles. The complexity, overwhelming weight and prevalence of institutionalized oppression has created a paralysis of nerve, which also requires support and illumination."
Sonya Lanzen-Castellanos, Executive Director of the Montessori World Educational Institute since 2002, launched her path in Child Development in the early 70’s. At California State University Los Angeles, she was first inspired by Buckminster Fuller to research the vast untapped potential of childhood and began studying child development and the neurosciences. A guest instructor from Italy introduced her to the work and discoveries of Dr. Maria Montessori which led her to Italy for her first Montessori teacher training and sparked a life-long passion. Later moving to California’s central coast, she was thrilled to discover the Montessori World Educational Institute for teacher training founded by Dr. Maria Montessori’s long-time collaborator and her designated Head of Montessori teacher training in London, Margaret Homfray, along with Cal Poly Professor, Dr. Robert Blodget.
Sonya holds California Teaching Credentials, and a Master’s Degree in Human Development with an emphasis in Educational Leadership and Anti-bias Awareness from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena. She also served as a part-time Cuesta College ECE instructor and was honored with the Cuesta Women of Distinction Award in 2007 in Administrative Leadership. She enjoys playing music as violinist in the San Luis Obispo Symphony and Orchestra NOVO, dancing, training teachers, traveling, art, and family time with grandchildren.