One such factor is stereotyping which depicts a situation by what a set of people exhibit a strong belief on one set of roles, values, and responsibilities. According to a study performed by the University of Michigan and Harvard University, performance of children is determined by both positive and negative stereotypes. The study concluded that positive stereotypes aid performance while negative stereotypes slow down performance (Ambady, Shih, Kim & Pittinsky, 2001). The most common stereotypes among children in the United States are gender stereotypes, ethnic stereotypes and stereotypes associated with persons with disability. Children are conscious of gender, ethnic and physical differences from as early as first grade. As compared to adults, children are less flexible when it comes to understanding stereotypes (Ambady et al., 2001).
Stereotypes can be triggered by Influences that knowingly or unknowingly lead to cultural biases that are based on ethnocentrism and eurocentrism. People tend to ignore the difference between cultures. Instead, they differentiate other cultures based on the study of one culture. The outcome may be consciously or unconsciously steered (Junior University, 2015).
Cultural biases also have a place in learning environment. To support an anti-bias curriculum for early learners, two methods should be integrated. First, visibility regarding elements that make up for cultural identity should be embraced. For example, both pictures and text should clearly bring out different socio-cultural backgrounds such as places of worship and the way of life. Secondly, controversial topics such as those relating to discrimination and racism should openly be discussed rather than shying away from them. This will provide learners with an open mind to addressing daily life issues. Avoiding topics such as those of religious diversity not only confuses them, but also limits their exposure to reality and understanding of the world. ...Show more