Anti-bias Resources

Over 100 years ago, Montessori education was founded on the principle that every child, regardless of race, gender, or social standing, deserved a quality education. Dr. Maria Montessori also believed that the education the child was the path to peace, saying, “Establishing lasting peace is the work of education,” and developed a model of peace education that is still used today in Montessori classrooms around the world. 

Unfortunately, racism and discrimination still persist in our country. While modeling peace and empathy for our children is a great step towards a more just society, it is not enough. Discrimination does not just occur at an individual level, but institutionally and systemically as well. To combat this, we as educators must be actively anti-racist and anti-bias and teach our children how to be anti-bias as well. 

At The Montessori School, we are committed to creating a just and equitable community for all the families we serve. We stand in solidarity with BIPOC, the LGBTQ+ community, and all other groups that face discrimination and marginalization. It is our promise to encourage our children to choose love over hate, embrace diversity, act with empathy, and remind them that being a global citizen comes with responsibility. In that spirit, we have compiled a list of anti-bias resources to help all of us, hand-in-hand with our children, begin the hard work towards establishing social justice. 

“Within the child lies the fate of the future.” – Maria Montessori

Websites

Teaching Tolerance – Teaching Tolerance is a non-profit that provides educators with free social justice and anti-bias resources to “help teachers and schools educate children and youth to be active participants in a diverse democracy.”

Making Caring Common Project – A collection of articles, resources, and videos from Harvard University with the mission of helping “children learn to care about others and the common good, treat people well day to day, come to understand and seek fairness and justice, and do what is right even at times at a cost to themselves.”

Understanding Gender – Resources to help understand the “complex interrelationship between three dimensions: body, identity, and social gender.”

Montessori for Social Justice – Increasing the application of anti-bias practices in the Montessori pedagogy

Books

Books for children

37 Children’s Books to help talk about Racism & Discrimination – These books may serve as an easy introduction to difficult conversations about race and discrimination with our children

16 Great LGBTQIA+ Books for Kids and Teens – Age-appropriate books about gender identity and sexual orientation

Juneteenth for Mazie – A history of the holiday Juneteenth

Anti-bias Education: A Selection of Children’s Books for Each Topic – A list of age-appropriate books covering the topics of Culture & Language, Racial Identity. Gender Roles, Economic Class, Abilities & Disabilities, Family Structure, Holidays, & Activism

DiverseBooks.org – A selection of teen and young adult novels with diverse characters and subject matter

 

 

Books for adults

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race – Author Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. discusses the psychology of racism

Those Kids, Our Schools: Race and Reform in an American High School – Author Shayla Reese Griffin’s observations of racial interactions at a large, integrated high school and her recommendations for educators on addressing racism that still exists in schools

Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves – A guide to helping children navigate issues of discrimination

Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America – Author Jennifer Harvey explores discusses how to talk with children about privilege and the other “conundrums [that] exist when it comes to raising white children in a society full of racial injustice.”

The Gender Creative Child: Pathways for Nurturing and Supporting Children Who Live Outside Gender – Dr. Diane Ehrensaft’s guide for parents and professionals on the rapidly changing cultural landscape in regards to gender and gender identity

Videos

Race: The Power of an Illusion (via a free account at Facing History and Ourselves) – This three-part mini docuseries “compels viewers to examine some of their most fundamental beliefs about concepts of race.”

13th (via Netflix or YouTube) – An examination of the U.S. prison system and the history of the 13th amendment

I am Not Your Negro (via Netflix) – Biopic of American author and activist, James Baldwin

Articles, News, & Blogs

Teaching Tolerance’s “Speak Up Guide” – A helpful guide on how to respond when you — as a student, parent, or educator — encounter prejudice, bias, and stereotypes in the school environment

“5 Simple Ways to Help Kids Build Cognitive Empathy” – The capacity for cognitive empathy “enables us to communicate effectively with and support the needs of other people.” It is a helpful tool to help advocate for marginalized groups in our society

“How to talk to your children about protests and racism” – This article compiles great advice from pediatricians, child psychologists, and other experts, and is broken down by age group to help you navigate what is appropriate for your family

“Compassion: The Pathway to Peace” – Using the Montessori model of Peace Education to help develop compassion in your child

“4 Little Things You Can Do to be Anti-Racist as a Family” – How to be vocal about injustice with your children and help them do the same

“Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City” – A mother shares her experience navigating the often unequal and racially segregated public school system in New York City

“A Partial Timeline of Educational Oppression in the U.S.” – Outlines significant historical events from 1779 to 2007

Podcasts

Invisibilia by NPR – Combining narrative and scientific research to explore the forces that “control human behavior and shape our ideas, beliefs, and assumptions.”

Seeing White by Scene on Radio – Leading scholars discuss the history of race in the United States in a 14-part docuseries

Code Switch by NPR – Hosted by a rotating panel of BIPOC journalist, this podcast “explore[s] how [race] impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between.

Uncivil by Gimlet Media – Historical podcast that shares the stories of marginalized groups often left out of history textbooks

Community Groups, Workshops, & Trainings

The Truth & Titus Collective – Battle Creek based social justice education group that offers anti-bias workshops for individuals and institutions

ERACCE – 2.5-day workshop held quarterly in Kalamazoo that addresses systemic racism

Allies for Change – “A network of anti-oppression educators who share a passion for social justice and a commitment to creating and sustaining life-giving ally relationships and communities.”

National Equity Project – Professional learning experiences to create more equitable communities, workplaces, and school

Gryphon Place – Mental health support and resources in the Kalamazoo area

OutFront Kalamazoo – Organization focused on creating a safe community for LGBTQ+ individuals, particularly LGBTQ+ youth, in the Kalamazoo area

Disability Network of Southwest Michigan – Resources for individuals with disabilities as well as educational materials on increasing accessibility in our communities