Discussions on Sensitive Issues: Volume 19
Table of contents(15 chapters)
List of Contributors
When young children notice and comment about physical appearance differences often associated with race, adults may experience discomfort and uncertainty about how to respond. As a result, many adults try to avoid or terminate such discussion, leaving children with unanswered questions and misunderstandings. To prepare educators to be supportive of the development of children’s positive racial identity and racial awareness, it is important for educators to examine their own attitudes, biases, and knowledge about race and racism. This chapter summarizes research on children’s racial identity and awareness, describes critical approaches to anti-racist education, and provides resources and strategies through which professionals can better understand themselves and the young children they serve.
This chapter draws on developmental intergroup theory, parental ethnic-racial socialization literature, anti-bias curricula, and prejudice intervention studies to address the appropriateness of discussing race and racism in early childhood settings. Existing literature about teacher discussions surrounding race and racism is reviewed, best practices are shared, and the need for more research in this area is highlighted. The construct of parental ethnic-racial socialization is mapped onto early childhood anti-bias classroom practices. The chapter also outlines racial ideologies of teachers, specifically anti-bias and colorblind attitudes, and discusses how these ideologies may manifest in classroom practices surrounding race and racism. Colorblind ideology is problematized and dissected to show that colorblind practices may harm children. Young children’s interpretations of race and racism, in light of children’s cognitive developmental level, are discussed. Additionally, findings from racial prejudice intervention studies are applied to teaching. Early literacy practices surrounding race and racism are outlined with practical suggestions for teachers and teacher educators. Moreover, implications of teacher practices surrounding race and racism for children’s development, professional development, and teacher education are discussed.
This chapter details the use of the Diversity Teacher Belief Q-Sort (DTBQ) as a springboard to reflective conversations about work with diverse populations of children and their families. The DTBQ tool is provided and guidelines, including concrete suggestions and discussion prompts, are outlined to support the use of the DTBQ to facilitate reflection and to open discourse about beliefs and practices. Furthermore, suggestions are provided for using the tool to measure or assess change or shifts in teachers’ beliefs and practices.
With the call for educational policies focusing on more accountability and high stakes testing, educational legislations are putting the overall development of the preschool child at risk. Children spend much of their day preparing for standardized tests and skills such as self-regulation are not supported in early elementary grades. Research demonstrates that students who enter kindergarten without self-regulatory skills are at greater risk for difficulties such as peer rejection and low levels of academic achievement.
This chapter explores the association between self-regulation specifically, cognitive, impulse control, ethnicity, and academic achievement in preschool Dual Language Learners (DLL). Results revealed that cognitive control and academics vastly differs in Hispanic/Latino and African American preschool students. Implications for practice and policy are further discussed.
Classist perspectives embedded in our meritocratic society permeate early childhood education. Curricula, instructional practices, and classroom interactions have the potential to send messages to children about who and what is valued by society; frequently influenced by the characteristics and abilities of a middle-class child. In order to best serve the needs and abilities of children from any social class, early childhood educators should be well versed in social-class sensitive pedagogy, a pedagogy that helps teachers to be inclusive of social class diversity in their classrooms. This chapter argues that aspects of Montessori theory, such as the four planes of development and the prepared adult, complement social-class sensitive pedagogy in ways that all early childhood educators may apply to their own teaching.
Although many educators feel insecure about reporting suspected child maltreatment, educators are in a unique position to identify and, subsequently, intervene in such cases. This is particularly true for those working in early childhood education settings, as the youngest children – those most vulnerable to the effects of maltreatment – are at the greatest risk for being victims of most types of maltreatment. Thus, early childhood educators should be familiar with child maltreatment and be prepared to act in these cases. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a general overview of child maltreatment. Definitions and prevalent issues will be discussed, and the potential effects of child maltreatment across a variety of domains, including cognitive, academic, social, and behavioral functioning, will be highlighted. Finally, the authors explore various responsibilities, such as mandated reporting and intervention and prevention activities, of early childhood educators.
Through the media it is clear that the number of people who are openly identifying as transgender is growing. Some of those people who are identified as transgender are adults but many times they are younger and sometimes young children (under the age of eight). As young children are sharing with family and school personnel that their gender and the assigned gender at birth are not an exact match, families and school personnel need the tools to support these children. Since most teacher training programs do not currently have preparation in working with children who are transgender or gender fluid, it is up to teachers and administrators to seek out materials and resources until such time as teacher preparation programs include this in the curriculum. In this chapter, the author shares basic terminology, ideas about changing curriculum, language, and environment in early childhood settings to help welcome young children who are transgender or gender fluid into these spaces. In addition, possible questions children and adults may ask are included along with resources and books about people who are transgender that are age appropriate for early childhood settings.
Children experience trauma more often than many early childhood educators realize. As many as 26% of children experience multiple trauma events such as abuse, neglect, parental substance abuse, parental incarceration, and so forth. Trauma impacts brain development in many negative ways that may have serious consequences on the child’s ability to learn, grow socially and emotionally, and develop physically. These brain changes also change how the child will play in the early childhood classroom, and information is given to help recognize the signs of trauma in children. The early childhood educator can make trauma-sensitive modifications in the classroom to assist the traumatized child’s ability to play out the problem. School counselors can be a resource for assisting early childhood teachers when working with traumatized children. A brief description of the importance of play therapy as a developmentally appropriate method to help traumatized young children is provided.
About the Authors
- Publication date
- Book series
- Advances in Early Education and Day Care
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN