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Yesenia Hernandez

Professor Jen Stacy

LBS 330

T- 5:30-8:15 p.m.

2/21/17

Sociocultural Identity essay

Sociocultural identity is important because it allows you create relationships with people

who are different than you. It provides individuals with the opportunity to create a place where

they feel belong. As a future educator this is important because as educators we are responsible

to help bring an anti-bias education to our students in which will help them create a better

understanding of their own culture and others. It is extremely important to create relationships

within our students to help them understand that even though they might be different from

someone else they can be connected in someway. Providing a positive anti-bias education

contains of self-reflection, and positive classroom environment in which the students can benefit

from.

As I grew up I have been discovering more social identities than what I thought I had.

Some of the social identities that I personally have are, being female, bilingual, literate,

Hispanic, middle class, and being a productive adult. Some of my social identities, such as being

bilingual and employed have brought me great privileged, and helped me developed into the

person I am today. For example, being bilingual gives me the opportunity to help others that do

not speak English by translating for them. It gives me an opportunity to be literate because I have

the privilege to read and write in two languages, and by that I have a better opportunity to be

successful in this country. Being employed gives me privilege and great satisfaction because I
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am able to be independent, as well as to help my family with financial situations, such as rent

and bills. Yet, just like having privilege with some of my social identities there is disadvantages

that at times holds me back. Some of those social identities are, being Hispanic and a female. It

has been said in the past that Hispanics or any color skin people are not capable in having a

career, and are only capable on working under minimum wage. Comments like that sometimes

makes me wonder if they are right. It is not fair to be treated like that because all human beings

are capable to do anything as long as we work hard and are giving the opportunity. I am lucky to

have a family that supports me in my goal of becoming a teacher. As mention being a female has

also made my life a bit harder. In my family there is a big difference when it comes to my

brother and I in some areas. For example, my brother was able to go out with his friends, and

come back late, where for my sister and I we weren’t not able to go out clubbing or be out late at

night. For my family it was said to look bad when a girl was out late. To me it was not fair

because I thought I had the same right as my brother to enjoy myself. Recognizing your own

beliefs will tend to help you help others that are being hurt by others because of their beliefs.

As I was growing up and going to school most of my anti-bias education was positive.

The school’s teachers and environment always made me feel save, secure, and proud of where I

come from. According to Derman-Sparks and Edwards, “An environment rich in anti-bias

materials invites exploration and discovery and supports children’s play and conversations in

both emergent and planned activities” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, p. 43). To me this is a huge

because children need to be understood, and know that having different cultures than others is

not bad. I remember that my schools would always commemorating black history month and

Hispanic heritage month. For example, in high school during Hispanic heritage the school would

have like a buffet with different type of Hispanic food, and different Hispanic music. It was such
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a great experience that I would never forget. Another positive anti-bias experience that I had

through out my education is that they always did their best to communicate and make each

parent feel welcome no matter their culture. Yet, as I began to grow older I came across some

negative experiences within my family regarding my culture. As mention before gender roles had

a lot to do with it. I tried to understand that part of my culture, but to me it was not fair that I

couldn’t go out just like some of my friends, or that I had to be home by 8 because I was a

female. That was the most negative issue I had to experience because of my culture.

When it came to the four goals I was very surprise because it’s the first time I hear about

this, and are able to go back and think of what goals I personally had the opportunity to explore.

The only goals that I had the opportunity to explore are goal #1 and goal #3. According to

Derman- Sparks and Edwards, “A basic goal of quality early childhood education work is to

nurture each child’s individual personality identity” (Derman-Spark & Edwards, p.4). This to me

is important, and I had the opportunity to explore it in elementary. For example, I remember in

3rd grade my teacher would do her best to learn some words from each of the student’s primary

language. She would ask each and everyone to write a word in their language, and during circle

time she would say the word and learn its meaning. It made me feel excited to go to school and

teach her new words in Spanish. The teacher made me feel welcome and proud of where I came

from. When I comes to goal #3, I had the opportunity to explore it in 3rd grade. I remember that I

was in P.E. and we had free choice, and an Asian girl ask a group of girls if she can play with

them. The girl said no because her eyes looked weird, and they left. Right way I knew that was

not fair, so I went up to the Asian girl and told her she can play with us. With both experiences I

learned that my sociocultural has thought me to be respectful and caring for others.
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According to Derman-Sparks and Edwards, “The better you know yourself, the better you

can understand your own responses to the children and families you work with” (Derman-Sparks

& Edwards, p. 21). This is true because children are so curious that at some point someone will

ask about a certain topic about his/her culture, or someone else culture, or even discriminate their

classmates. Looking back at my own experiences will help me have a better understanding of

what I should do if I have a situation like that. For example, it will help me go back and see how

I personally handle my own sociocultural situations. I do believe it is extremely important to

incorporate an anti-bias education in my classroom. It is important because I want my students to

feel comfortable to come to school without being feeling lost because if their culture. One of the

first things that I would to help me create an anti-bias classroom is communicating with families.

According to Derman-Sparkd and Edwards, “After you have begun establishing a relationship

with each family, begin to ask about what and how they teach their child about aspects of his or

her identities…” (Derman-Sparks & Edwards). This is important because it will guide you on

promoting an anti-bias education for the child. Another thing that will help me achieve an anti-

bias classroom is looking at each and every material, such as books, dolls, posters, and to make

sure that they are appropriate for my anti-bias classroom. According to Derman-Sparks and

Edwards, “An environment rich in anti-bias materials invites exploration and discovery and

support children’s play conversation in both emergent and planned activities” (Derman-Sparks &

Edwards, p. 43). For example, I would incorporate persona dolls in stories, by using them

children will have a better understanding of the story and of other cultures. Lastly, I would

incorporate culture circles in my classroom. This will provide my students with the opportunity

to share something about their culture and for others to discuss and ask questions about their

culture. This is also great for problem solving when it comes to bias comments from one student
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to the another. I want to be an effective anti-bias education and for my students to learn to accept

others because we all deserve to be treated respectfully. I was my students to create a positive

view of others.

Learning about my own sociocultural identity has thought me more about who I am, and

made me understand more about the beliefs I carry. I have learned ways in which it can help me

build an anti-bias education to my students by using the four main goals, and I’ve learn ways in

which how to deal with situations of bias. Each culture is different and unique in its own way,

and in someway each have something to offer to our country. It is important for everyone to

respect each and every sociocultural identity because it who we are, but specially because we a

re human beings that deserve to be treated equally.


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Reference

Derman-Sparks, L., & Edwards, J. O. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and

ourselves. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.