This 3rd edition of The Anti-Bias Approach in Early Childhood is a celebration! This edition revisits and builds upon the content from the two previous editions to include research and practice that has shaped early childhood over the past 15 years. The pages of this edition hold the stories of the original editor - Elizabeth Dau along with many of the original contributors. Also nestled in these pages are the stories of over 50 early childhood educators who share their powerful stories of anti-bias curriculum approaches. The content of this book is essential to everyone in the early childhood community as we work together to make children’s lives beautiful and inclusive in pursuit of a fair and equitable world.


About the Editor

Dr Red Ruby Scarlet is an activist, artist, early childhood teacher-researcher, consultant and academic. Red has been working in early childhood for over 25 years and is devoted to creative, imaginative, inclusive practices that promote dignity and integrity in early childhood. Red has developed curriculum and learning frameworks nationally and internationally. Red has published widely foregrounding the stories of the numerous ‘teacher-research’ and ‘research with children’ projects Red has lead and contributed to across the world.

Red is currently the Creative Director of MultiVerse – an organisation devoted to creating professional development and resourcing for early childhood that is committed to arts, anti-bias approaches, inclusive pedagogies, and curriculum. Red plays a leadership role in the Social Justice In Early Childhood group.


RRP: $150

Launched Friday 7 October 2016 at the ECA Conference in Darwin, NT.

Table of Contents

Foreword Jill HuntleyGlenda MacNaughton and Christine Woodrow
About the Editor
About the Contributors

Introduction Red Ruby Scarlet


Acknowledgement of Country Jessica Staines

Children and bias Anne Glover

Creating anti-bias environments: rethinking, reshaping and reconfiguring Red Ruby Scarlet and Doug Fargher

Claiming a new space for multiculturalism in early childhood education practice Catharine Hydon and Rukmini Bose-Rahman

The gender factor: continuing the dialogue Sheralyn Campbell, Kylie Smith and Kate Alexander

Mother Goose goes to Mardi Gras: connecting with LGBT+ families and children Brian Newman

Embracing diversity: early childhood education and children who experience disability Kathy Cologon, Amanda Niland, Aliza Salvador, Meike Mackenzie and Virginia Artinian

Diverse languages and dialects Leonie Arthur and Jacqueline D’warte

Exploring families: the diversity and the issues Elizabeth Dau

Cross-cultural challenges and possibilities in early childhood education Melinda G. Miller and Julia Mascadri

Masculinities and men in early childhood: reconceptualising our theory and practice Michael McGirr

Revisiting celebrations with young children Elizabeth Dau and Kerryn Jones

The challenges and successes of lndigenous parents as decolonisers of ‘mainstream’ early childhood spaces in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Sue Atkinson

Whose family is this? Looking in the rear view mirror Leanne Gibbs

Developing critical thinking and activism Kerryn Jones

Reimagining anti-bias education as worldly-entanglement Jayne Osgood, Red Ruby Scarlet, Awilda Longstocking, Jean de Clisson and Gráinne O’Malley

Anti-bias curriculum: art comes before the idea and after it Felicity McArdle and Al Ohlsen

Worldly infant belongings: power, agency, and the inclusion of infancy in theorising practice Kathrine Whitty

Developing an anti-bias approach in program planning Anne Paul

Exploring anti-bias: reflections on current practise Alison Evans and Nadine McAllister

Acknowledgement of Country Annette Sax

In sickness and in death Jill Huntley

Empowering adults: a personal experience Veronica Johns

Anti-bias approaches as ‘public pedagogies’: shimmers of the Social Justice In Early Childhood group Red Ruby Scarlet and Anthony Semann

#amicolourblind Kathy Gelding

Equity in the everyday: stories and reflections Felicity Barclay

Refugees, asylum seekers and an anti-bias approach in early childhood Trish Highfield, Mark Goudkamp and Artwork by Liv

Looking back, looking forward: what have I learnt about becoming and being an advocate and activist? Anne Kennedy

In the pursuit of social justice: methodologies for growing leadership and mobilising change Christine Woodrow

Twenty first century perspectives, changing families, changing relationships Jennifer Ribarovski and Vanessa Davison

Becoming Italian: how learning a language speaks to diversity Siobhán Hannan

The impact of governmental reform on anti-bias identities Rebecca Simpson-Dal Santo

Race and gender in United States early childhood settings: researcher reflections Flora Farago and Beth Blue Swadener

The matter of lives: towards an everyday politics of action Marianne Bloch and Chelsea Bailey

Acknowledgement of Country Priscilla Reid-Loynes


Congratulations to Dr Red Ruby Scarlet on this latest edition of the highly regarded book ‘The Anti-Bias Approach in Early Childhood’. It is heart-warming to see the continued legacy of Elizabeth Dau and Barbara Creaser, two champions of early childhood education and social justice, who first published this book over 20 years ago. I particularly like the quote ‘speak truth to power’ hand written by Elizabeth on a note to the second edition – it is such a humble call to action but succinctly captures the moral imperative to be brave and speak up to effect change, even when that is hard to do or makes us feel uncomfortable.

Australian society has changed substantially in recent decades, some biases have narrowed while others have widened and new ones have emerged. Research has strengthened the evidence base not only in relation to the importance of inclusion, social cohesion and valuing diversity but also on the knowledge and practice that early childhood educators need in order to deliver early childhood programs that allow all children to thrive now and in the future. This latest edition has a wealth of new material that will challenge readers to rethink their practices from a social-justice perspective and reimagine them as opportunities for inclusion. It will also help to inform the work of policy makers, researchers and those responsible for training the next generation of educators. We owe a debt to all involved – thank you.
— SAMANTHA PAGE, CEO Early Childhood Australia
This magnificent and timely 3rd edition of the Anti-Bias Approach in Early Childhood is without doubt a worthy successor to the earlier editions. Continuing the strong and unwavering commitment to social justice for which those editions were so well respected, it brings a rich array of contemporary lenses to current and ongoing challenges. The insightful contributions of so many highly regarded authors − early childhood researchers, practitioners, social justice activists, and those who ‘wear multiple hats’ − highlight the depth and diversity of endeavours to address inequities and injustices. This provocative, powerful and inspirational book is essential reading for those seeking to work with children, families, communities and others to collectively create a more equitable and hospitable world.
— Professor Jennifer Sumsion, Foundation Professor of Early Childhood Education, Charles Sturt University Director, Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education (RIPPLE)