• What are some of the challenges or difficulties faced by mem-
bers of a dominant cultural group learning to operate in ways
that include or are sensitive to cultures of relevant subordinate
Promote comfortable, empathic interaction with people from diverse
backgrounds. This means guiding children’s developing awareness of difference in a
way that fosters interest in and empathy with difference, rather than a
fear or judgment of it. It means helping them develop their skills to
negotiate the day-to-day natural discomfort, tensions, problems, or
conflicts that can arise from difference. Goal 2 means guiding all chil-
dren—those in the subordinate groups and those in dominant
groups—to adapt to difference. And it means guiding children to rec-
ognize and respect difference while simultaneously recognizing the
commonalties all people share.
• What were the first messages you learned about differences in
general? Where did those messages come from? Were they
positive? negative? mixed?
• What were the first messages you learned about differences
among people? Where did those messages come from? What
values were attached to what differences?
• Recall ways in which you were different from classmates or
friends. How did that feel? What messages did you receive?
• Recall ways in which a teacher or other adult helped you,
classmates, or friends learn about and deal respectfully with
differences. What messages did you receive?
• When someone suggests that a problem exists because there
are differences between the two of you, does this raise anxi-
ety? What about the belief that differences are common and
generally can be negotiated?
• A Puerto Rican child comes to school with a pacifier. The
teachers feel that the child, at age four, is too old to have a
pacifier and tell her to leave it in her cubby. Why do you
think the teachers responded this way? How might the teach-
ers ask the family about their views on the subject? What do
you think the teachers should do if the family says they feel
that children should have a pacifier until they no longer want
Chapter 1: The Four Goals for an Anti-Bias Approach