The following thematic constructs provide a framework for units of study and guide teachers in the planning and implementation of learning experiences.

>  The design and implementation of any curriculum should support an anti-bias approach. Activities should be designed to promote respect, understanding and responsibility for one’s own actions. Following is a list of specific goals that are an outgrowth of curriculum based on anti-bias principles:

  • Children will respond to differences respectfully and comfortably.
  • Children will understand and practice fairness.
  • Children will develop empathy.
  • Children will develop an awareness of the differences in people’s feelings, opinions and responses and treat each other respectfully in spite of these differences.
  • Children will understand the concept of stereotyping and think critically about it.

>  There are multiple viewpoints to every event and situation. Knowledge is subjective and must be understood in the context of who is creating it as well as in the context of who is receiving it.

>  Race is a social construct. Children will be exposed to the tenuous phenotypic classifications of race and be given opportunities for sorting out the social manifestations of these classifications.

>  Authentic voices communicating the stories of real people serve as the foundation upon which curriculum is developed and the medium through which it is communicated. Beginning with their own stories and the stories of their own families, children will begin to understand that people have qualities that make them unique but also share qualities that link us as human beings.

>  Every culture is a product of myriad contacts with other cultures. Migration, both voluntary and involuntary, has played a pivotal role in the development of culture throughout history. There are multicultural contributions to all societies—contemporary or historical, local or global.

>  The issues of freedom and un-freedom have had implications for individuals as well as for groups. Responses to the conditions of freedom and un-freedom have been determined individually a well as culturally and must be understood in their historical contexts. There are similarities and differences in these responses that can be identified across cultures throughout history.

>  History is not linear. The development of culture has been cyclical; civilizations have risen and fallen in prominence and influence. Indigenous societies need to be examined through the lenses of their own histories and principles. Values develop in each culture and need to be understood through the lives and stories of the people who are a part of that culture.

>  People are responsible for their own actions and have the power to make decisions and make change happen.

>  There is an undeniable interdependence among people within and across cultures.

>  There has been a wide spectrum of human activity we need to acknowledge and appreciate. Men and women of all ages from all cultures have participated in the unfolding drama that is life on this planet. The participation and contributions of all people need to be acknowledged and understood in the historical and cultural contexts in which they take place.

>  Maps are subjective representations that reflect the perspectives and biases of those who create them.