Anti-Bias Approach to Civics


Why combine anti-bias and civics education?

When the ultimate purpose of civic learning is for students to promote democratic ideals and create a more just world at every level of society, ADL believes that introducing anti-bias education will support teachers and students in reaching that goal.


Multi ethnic students discussing with professoriStock

ADL’s anti-bias education engages students in actively challenging prejudice, stereotyping and all forms of discrimination and fosters an equitable school climate that is safe, inclusive and respectful—a learning environment in which all community members, including students, seek to understand and appreciate diverse experiences and perspectives. ADL views these principles and practices as foundational to developing empathy and a civic disposition that is open to the experiences and viewpoints of others, and essential in a world that is both increasingly diverse and divided.


ADL believes civic learning should:

  • Enable students to build civic knowledge of government structures and processes in a global context.
  • Incorporate SEL to inspire a civic disposition characterized by empathy and a sense of civic responsibility.
  • Develop essential civic skills including critical thinking, research, media literacy and communication to enable informed civic participation and advocacy for our founding principles of democracy, freedom and equity. 

ADL integrates civic learning with anti-bias principles and practices to:

  • Explore the complexity of individual and group identity.
  • Interpret differences through the lenses of language and culture
  • Examine and challenge bias.
  • Understand power, privilege and systemic discrimination.
  • Take action that fosters equity and social justice.