Antibias Education: Identity


Identity. Such a simple word, for such a strong meaning. I have never been one to truly know how to show identity, but I had supportive teachers and family helping me along the way. Like I mentioned in the previous blog post, I was never top of my class or even the smartest in any of my classes. In fact, I struggled a lot with identity because I thought people were judging or identifying me based of my extra reading or speech classes I was taking. Another piece added on top of my struggle was my culture. Being Jewish, in a school of only four other Jewish people, definitely did not help with this crisis. However, by the time I reached high school, I was able to become more aware and appreciative of my identity
with the help and guidance of my teachers and family. These two main supporters always comforted me and made me realize that my struggles didn’t define me, nor that I’m alone in this matter. Instead of hiding identity, they chose to promote this inside the classroom. It felt nice to see that everyone was dealing with similar issues, plus I was able to finally become more self-aware, confident, and knowledgeable about what identity stands for.

What is Identity?

If you are one to share this similar struggle with me, I am here to tell you what identity is and how you can change the perspective you may think people make about you. If you ask Google the meaning of identity, the response is simple, “the fact of being who or what a person or thing is”; however, identity is so much more than the platonic response given by Google (Oxford languages and google – English). Identity is nurtured with the idea of each individual child’s construction of knowledge, confidence, and individual and social identities. Through finding your identity, “children will demonstrate self-awareness, confidence, family pride, and positive social identities” (Understanding anti-bias education). The goal of antibias education is to ensure that no child feels superior to another, but rather equal people. Children should feel proud of who they are and will become. The job of a teacher and caregiver are to support children in this journey and teach about respectful language towards others, as well as how to feel comfortable in different environments, specifically home and school culture. Within antibias education, the goal of identity branches out from more than just individualism. Social identities play an equally important role in the child’s development as individual identities do. Social identity refers to the categorizations of the society in which we live and how individuals all around share similar ideals. Some examples of “social identities include (but are not limited to) gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, religious, and economic class groups” (Understanding anti-bias education). I guarantee you that no one is alone in this matter, but it is up to the teacher to help decrease this issue in coming years. This starts by having teachers nurturing children’s individual and social identities in the classroom, making sure they know they are accepted.

Observations of Identity

As we just discussed, it is mainly up to the teacher to introduce this idea of accepting your identity. There are certainly different ways this can occur, but I will only give a select few on what I have observed being in a preschool classroom. Through the Community Action Partnership in Adamstown Elementary, I have been afforded the pleasure of observing the teacher in this classroom. The first thing I noticed when walking into the classroom was the idea of family pride, which is included in the definition of identity. The teacher put together a “family” tree, where all students (with the help of parents) brought in a picture of their family to be placed on this tree. It is important to note that all students are included in this activity and up for their observation throughout the whole school year. Within these pictures, one can notice all the unique qualities that make every family different from one another but can also appreciate that at the end of the day, family is family, a group of people who care and take after one another. Another observation taken within this classroom is learning respectful language to describe who they and others are. It is hard for preschoolers to know who they are at such a young age, but the teacher is trying to nurture these ideas in little items around the room. Based off learning respectful language, both body and verbal, children are developing the knowledge of identity. Before they are dismissed from carpet time, the children must use their helping hand to pick someone to go after them. I see helping hands in two parts; the first being that it teaches the basic skills of being kind. The second part to this little activity is children becoming self-aware of how they want to act and how others around them respond to this gesture. They are able to acknowledge that no one person is standing out or special, but they are actually equals, which would also help them develop and be comfortable in the school culture. When someone asks you about your identity, how will you respond? Have the people around you helped nurture the ideals behind identity?


Oxford languages and google – English. Oxford Languages. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2022, from

Understanding anti-bias education: Bringing the four core goals to every facet of your curriculum. NAEYC. (n.d.). Retrieved October 19, 2022, from

My Educational Guru

Who is Ilana?

Hi everyone, my name is Ilana Jacobson! How does one sum up their educational experience? And how does that translate into the desire of becoming a teacher? I am going to try my best to give you a summary around my decision of becoming a teacher. As one could say, I was not the smartest cookie in elementary and middle school due to some educational setbacks throughout the years. It all started when I had speech intervention beginning in first grade. I would always get pulled out of class to go into a small room and work on my speaking. Speech intervention ended after elementary school; however, I continued having reading intervention until eighth grade. All the interventions stopped after middle school and I was finally able to be seen as an equal to my classmates in high school but being in the background taught me a lot. I was taken away from my classmates during times of the school day where creativity and play were offered, which does not occur often. I now understand why it happened, but at the time, I was not amused with this idea of missing the fun. There were some positives to these interventions which included effective learning skills, how to be proactive, the importance of study (including strategy and tips), and how to manage my time wisely to achieve my goals. This being said, there was still something missing, creativity! During my college years, I have been able to learn about all the different theorists and educational influencers in the world today, one in particular being Sir Ken Robinson. Robinson, plus my past and present experiences, is why I want to become a teacher!

Sir Ken Robinson

Who is Sir Ken Robinson? Robinson is an internationally recognized speaker from the United Kingdom. One of his most famous talks, the one I will be discussing in this blog, is Do Schools Kill Creativity? Simple answer, yes! Robinson led the development and realization of inputting more creativity in the classroom. A large part of his philosophy revolved around taking creativity and teaching children that it is okay to be wrong. With creativity, there are rarely any wrong answers because YOU are the one creating the piece. One of my favorite lines from his TEDTalk is “if you’re not prepared of being wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original” (Robinson). Educational systems now are corrupting the minds of little children, convincing them that there are consistent answers for every question being asked. Robinson also looks at creativity as an intelligence divided into three separate parts. The first being it’s diverse; as in thinking visually, experiencing different sounds, and kinesthetically. The second part has to do with the dynamics. Creativity, in itself, is one big interactive experience. It comes through the interaction of “different disciplinary ways of seeing things” (Robinson). The third and final part of this intelligence is the idea of being distinct, adopting new conceptions or human ecology/capacity. To summarize the ideas of Robinson, he wants creativity to help see children for who they are and most importantly, educate the WHOLE being in order to help them make something of it. Think of the educational experience as a never ending puzzle.

Connecting Pieces Together

From an early age, you and I will start off with multiple “puzzle” pieces, not knowing where or how to connect them into your life. Obviously, I don’t who will be reading this, so I am going to continue on with my puzzle. As I progressed through elementary, middle, and high school, I was able to add pieces to my puzzle. These pieces could have included educational strategies, teacher influences, or experiences that influenced my education. Moving onto college, I have slowly been adding pieces to this puzzle as I learn more and more about how to actually become a teacher. Now comes to the philosophy of my teaching, which is one of the most important puzzle pieces. Sir Ken Robinson is not the only philosopher that I see connect into my educational philosophy but is rather one that I connect with the most. Personally, creativity influenced my educational experience in a way that I cannot even explain. I’ll be honest with you all, I am a terrible test taker. My grades always depended on the extra stuff, which teachers always considered less important than big assessments. However, that “extra stuff” was and still influences me greatly. You may be asking yourself, what the heck are “extra stuff”? I think of this stuff to be projects, papers, and other non-assessment coursework. Projects, connecting into the creativity of Sir Ken Robinson, were always my best and most enjoyable aspects of school. I want children to be able to experience this as well as tap into their creativity, because everyone has a creative mind somewhere. Creativity also helps apply the content of the curriculum better as you are relating and dealing with it for more time than taking a 50 minute test. Moving back to the idea of the puzzle, I can connect the ideas of past experiences with the ideas learned currently. The puzzle pieces intertwine connecting everything into a beautiful creation, which can be expanded on, adding more pieces, as I experience more learning, begin in the classroom, and see the effect everything has on my future students. Robinson says educate the WHOLE student, which can be done through the never ending puzzle created by the educator themselves, because in the end, educators will have a major influence on their student, and it is their job to show them how school can be FUN!

Video to Robinson’s TEDTalk


Robinson, S. K. (2006). Do schools kill creativity? TED Talk: Ideas worth spreading. Retrieved September 8, 2022, from