On the National Association for the Education of Young Children website, an article called Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families explains that:
“Research demonstrates that children’s awareness of racial differences and the impact of racism begins quite early…As such parents and teachers have an obligation to teach and learn with children about these critical and complex issues.”
The newest Exchange Reflections, “Anti-Bias Classroom Culture,” is based on an article written collaboratively by four white teachers who explored what they could do to build a classroom culture that would support anti-bias education. As one of the authors, Edie Hillard wrote, “As a white woman who was raised in a predominately white area, I reflect constantly. I have had to do a lot of soul searching.” She explains how the teachers have recognized the limitations they face when leading a diverse class, and describes their determination to address them.
The Exchange Reflections encourages individuals or groups of people to consider how each person’s background and life experiences can be used to help build an anti-bias classroom culture. This Reflections provides supportive ideas and much food-for-thought on this important topic.
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Thank you for the comment, Francis.
-Tiffany at Exchange
With the interest in teaching anti-bias issues to young children, it is critical to remember two basic tenants (which, I believe are often totally ignored): 1) race is a made-up construct that differs from country to country, and even to some extent within countries (this is important especially when we acknowledge the increase in people from other countries in our programs), and 2) young children's sense of right and wrong, and good and bad, are developmental, and not mature. It should also be remembered that many adults are confused about race (for example in today's Denver Post an Associated Press article said that Hispanic is a race, which of course it is not; also, many adults do not acknowledge people with mixed-race identities).