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Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

  • 1.  Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-12-2020 03:34 PM
    Hello!

    I am teaching a college level ECE course this fall, currently I'm working on my syllabus, I plan to add anti-racism assignments to my class. I am curious if teachers and professors in this field have any good ideas/resources to share? Thanks!


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    Wei Dai

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  • 2.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-12-2020 06:17 PM
    Hi Wei,

    If I may make a suggestion, I believe that adding these assignments or at least how they are labeled in the message already begins on a bad note. Why not develop cultural assignments instead that develop our worldwide understanding? For example, not many people in this country know where Romania is located and that it is the only latin speaking country in Eastern Central Europe. Or what the capital of Nigeria is called and what language do they speak there? During my bachelor's studies, I majored in culture communication, and in the past years it has been very useful to me as a journalist writer.

    I would create a segment of a culture or country for each day and teach the class something beautiful and positive. Music usually works great with children too! Maybe try folk music from each culture...I would be more than glad to help with more suggestions!

    All the best,
    Paula Marisa




  • 3.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-14-2020 08:09 AM

    Wei:

    There are some great suggestions here.  You might want to explore, and have students explore, the site https://www.embracerace.org

    Marisa:
    Respectfully, talking about ant-racism isn't starting off on a bad note; racism is a bad note. It is present in all of our institutions, including ECE.  It has a negative effect on the daily lives of children, families, and teachers. The kind of cultural assignments that you suggest  have a place in the curriculum.  They don't, however, address issues of race and bias.  Naming these doesn't introduce negativity. The negativity on racism and implicit bias is already present. Naming these helps college students expand their knowledge, learn about our history and culture, grapple with institutional racism, and figure out ways to bring the concepts of equity and activism to the classroom.  I think many college age students are hungry for this.




    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-14-2020 09:20 AM
    Hi Aren, thank you for your reply! I will have to also respectfully agree to disagree in some aspects. As a student, educator and journalist I am not very fond of the newly born trend to develop assignments based on race and respectively skin color. It goes against its purpose. We have to be careful onward to create a welcoming environment for everyone. However, assignments of cultural understanding and acceptance resolve many issues, including those of race, but with a wiser approach. For example teaching children about the beauty of African, Asian or European cultures will achieve more than bluntly creating racism labeled assignments. It is more age appropriate. It also bridges the gap of discrimination for many immigrant children, whose voices and accents today are still unheard. I believe in the good of most people, especially of children. As many of the early education theorists recommended, we have to develop assignments based on their innate thirst of knowledge and especially constructive knowledge.

    I do agree Aren, that the word racism - unfortunately - has a place in our education. Teachers especially should be trained how to approach and mediate conflicts when noticed in class, among parents, among colleagues and in our community in general. That includes, especially in the United States, also an ability to understand and adapt to the many cultures that inhabit our communities.

    I hope that my international perspective shares with everyone the development of our curriculum and as it pertains to this trendy topic, at a different level. After all, it is our responsibility as educators, to rise above current events and always mirror the future that we wish to build for our children to grow in.


    All the Best,
    Paula Marisa

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    Marisa Bojiuc
    Student
    San Pedro CA
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-14-2020 02:43 PM

    Hi Marisa, thank you and everyone for sharing your ideas and resources with me.
    The reason that I asked this question on Hello is because I'm trying to make all the assignments in this class to be meaningful and effective for my students and myself. As you suggested, the beauty of cultural diversity has always been an important component in my ECE classes. But, right now, at this historical time, it is time to tackle the subject of anti-racism. I hope my college students will leave my class with a deeper and comprehensive understanding of culture, races, etc., so, when they enter this filed and work with young children they will have positive influence on their students. 



    ------------------------------
    Wei Dai
    Amherst NY
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  • 6.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-14-2020 03:23 PM
    Hi Wei,

    I don't believe that my perspective was fully grasped. You and I are writing about the same goal but with two very different approaches. Your approach is more appropriate for an education history or education mediation/conflict class. Mine gently welcomes the entire community to learn from each other and achieve equality on all racial and ethnic levels and more. As a student of ECE at least, it is what I hope for from my professors. I hope this helps. All the best to you onward!

    ------------------------------
    Marisa Bojiuc
    Student
    San Pedro CA
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  • 7.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 02:20 PM
    Marisa:
    Actually, we don't agree.
    And that's really okay.  I don't need to agree with you or have you agree with me.  There is room for us both, including our differences.

    Karen:
    Thank you for your support.  There are some really great resources from people on here and I'll use them to learn more myself and to share with teachers.

    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 08:58 AM
    Marisa:
    Again, I respect your approach as one arm of designing curriculum.  What it leaves out is the very real racial history of this country.  It is not a pretty history of multicultural acceptance, and in many places it still isn't.  It is vital that adult students of Early Childhood Education understand this and how issues of race, equity and justice are present in the ECE classroom today.  Remember we are talking about the education of adults.

    I especially take issue with you describing paying attention to this as "trendy".  Many see it as vital, even life-saving.  "Rising above current events" is not my goal as an educator of adults and as an educator of young children.  Paying attention to, learning from, and addressing these issues--which people have been working on for decades, not just in 2020--is part of my charge as an educator, no matter how uncomfortable it is.   Mirroring a better future is great.  And if we don't acknowledge, name out loud, and learn from the past and the present we will simply repeat it.  I think we're going to have to disagree on this one.

    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 09:55 AM
    Hi Aren,

    We actually both agree but our approach is different. For example these courses would be appropriate as part of an education history or education conflict/mediation courses but not randomly added in any ECE college class. Also, we have to look at age level when early childhood educators introduce these topics. The goal is to always rise above and lead in a welcoming environment for everyone.

    ------------------------------
    Marisa Bojiuc
    Student
    San Pedro CA
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  • 10.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-16-2020 10:12 AM
    Good Morning,

    These challenging times present possibilities. At present a curriculum about how to relate to one another. Arising from relating are the safe and trusting relationships in which our children can share their stories. As we listen to them, their families and ourselves there is the "curriculum".


    ------------------------------
    Caroline Carson
    Wright Preschool Program
    Vail AZ
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  • 11.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 01:26 PM
    Hi Aren,

    I just wanted to personally thank you for keeping on top of this thread. I appreciate the thought, time and courage it takes to craft these responses, and particularly to provide language for all of us to address the discomfort Marisa and many others feel about possibly creating a stressful classroom environment.

    I agree that students are hungry to discuss real issues, to make meaning for themselves and make a difference through their work.

    I strongly agree that any discomfort around discussing racism exists because we are racist. It may feel impolite (especially for women) to "create" discomfort for others, but in reality, it is only a small effort at redistribution of the lethal "discomfort" that already exists in our racist system.

    If teachers feel at a loss about how to initiate and conduct discussions about racism, I highly recommend the book: The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias, by Dolly Chugh. The book is full of non-confrontational strategies to help each of us dig deeper and become the effective advocates we want to be.

    ------------------------------
    Karen Lefkovitz
    Independent Consultant
    Philadelphia PA
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  • 12.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 03:02 PM
    Karen,

    I disagree that we are racist in the face of discomfort. Growing up as an immigrant child and living as an immigrant adult in this country, imagine the many examples I have about discomfort. However, I gently understand the stereotypes that come with all the "natives" of this land. If we want to find social acceptance and peace, we have to warm up to the beauty of cultures and not loudly point to these issues. Unless it is an education course that teaches about history, discrimination, conflict management, etc. Then racial discrimination should be boldly addressed! But not across all curriculum and age level. To leave on a positive and constructive note, I would be curious to learn from you and others if racism has also been diagnosed as a medical condition. That should play a very important role when educators consider to develop this kind of assignments, courses, etc. I look at racism as something more grave than a simple discomfort.

    All the Best,
    Paula Marisa

    ------------------------------
    Marisa Bojiuc
    Student
    San Pedro CA
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  • 13.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-20-2020 12:39 PM
    I think it is in the interest of children and their families to talk about how racism can invade our curriculum choices, observational descriptions and policies and procedures even when we are not intending this to happen.  This is because research is telling us that children grow in what one writer called "the fog of racism". That is that racism is prevalent in our culture and inhabits even the early childhood landscape. Helping even preschool children to recognize stereotyping and injustice in the everyday world is critical for all of our children. It cannot happen without honest discussions from educators and those they are preparing to go into the classroom. It certainly belongs in child development courses in colleges so that teachers can recognize that children notice racial differences and begin to develop ideas about race very early.
    Ellan Wolpert wrote an interesting curriculum called Start Seeing Diversity that she piloted years ago. Her book makes clear how teachers respond to children's questions about homeless people on a walk, the books and pictures they select and how they respond to families whose cultural practices and ideas are different from their own effects the children in our classrooms. These discussions belong in the preparation of early childhood teachers not to raise discomfort, although they may, but to create an awareness of how our decisions and reactions impact on all of our children.

    ------------------------------
    Bernadette Davidson
    Director of Child Care Services
    Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
    Boston MA
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  • 14.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-21-2020 09:01 AM
    Thank you, Bernadette, for your clear explanation of how racism can "invade" our choices as teachers and why such studies belong in teacher preparation courses, not just those designated as being about race.

    Thanks to everyone who posted great ideas and resource recommendations on this thread.  I'll be using them in my own work and to pass on to the teachers and directors I work with.


    Bernadette Davidson wrote:
    I think it is in the interest of children and their families to talk about how racism can invade our curriculum choices, observational descriptions and policies and procedures even when we are not intending this to happen.  This is because research is telling us that children grow in what one writer called "the fog of racism". That is that racism is prevalent in our culture and inhabits even the early childhood landscape. Helping even preschool children to recognize stereotyping and injustice in the everyday world is critical for all of our children. It cannot happen without honest discussions from educators and those they are preparing to go into the classroom. It certainly belongs in child development courses in colleges so that teachers can recognize that children notice racial differences and begin to develop ideas about race very early.

    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------


  • 15.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-16-2020 08:42 AM
    Karen's suggestion of Dolly Chugh reminded me of another resource. In 2016, the NYTimes Learning Network and PBS's POV created a very accessible series of short videos on aspects of implicit bias: https://www.nytimes.com/video/who-me-biased  They're perfect prompts for classroom discussions, and feature the work of scholars that students could read as follow-up (including Prof. Chugh).
    And thanks to everyone who has posted in this thread trying to find language to get beyond racism as an individual action or belief. In the U.S., we live in a culture that is the legacy of white supremacy. No matter when our families settled here, or how much we, personally, have fought against racism or for social justice, we can't deny that legacy's influence any more than we could insist that we aren't affected by living in the Northern Hemisphere. It's not just our past.
    The legacy of white supremacy means that racism is, today, so deeply infused into our institutions and systems that it can seem to be invisible, especially to those it benefits. And what we don't see and name, we perpetuate. That's why it's so important in ece/teacher prep to make racism visible, including the ways that it shows up in the methods and texts we use to teach, in our own academic institutions, and in the structures of our profession. Until racism is a relic of our distant path, choosing to limit examination of it to history or social issues courses inevitably results a denial of the ways that it influences every aspect our lives and work.


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    Dr. Faith Rogow
    InsightersEducation
    Ithaca NY
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  • 16.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-18-2020 10:51 AM
    This is in response to Faith. Yes, racism is infused into everyday life in the United States. And the more outright racists spend their time highlighting anything they can (see Facebook posts​) that highlight behaviors among minorities that confirm their biases.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 06:49 PM

    I want to respond to the recommendation of using the resource, Embrace Race. I have not looked at their overall information, but have looked at their piece on the multiracial community and anti-blackness. This is a very strong indictment of families who are trying desperately to raise their children as proudly multiracial. Its also not accurate when it refers to the history of the multiracial movement.

     

    I am a member of an interracial family (b/w) and was very involved in the moment, visiting many of the support groups, and writing for every major publication (and some of the minor ones). This article argues that the movement was driven by white women, and was anti-black. None of this is true. The president of the national organization was Carlos Fernandez, a Hispanic, and then Ramona Douglass, a mixed-race women. The editors of all three national publication were non-white; and Edwin Darden, a Black lawyer, was president of the Washington, DC group for years, and also VP of the national group.

     

    In this era of heightened awareness of Black issues, we cannot afford to devalue and sabotage the struggle of multiracial individuals – especially children – in this country.

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     






  • 18.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-17-2020 11:19 AM

    Francis:

    Thank you for your response about Embrace Race.  I hadn't realized that and I appreciate you sharing your perspective.  I learned from your response.





    ------------------------------
    Aren Stone
    she/her/hers
    Child Development Specialist
    The Early Years Project
    Cambridge, MA
    ------------------------------



  • 19.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-17-2020 01:03 PM

    Aren Stone:

     

    Thanks so much for your response. Unfortualey, with the increase and support of Black issues in education (which I totally support), there has also been a simultaneous marginalization and even attack of people who are raising their chidlren to be proudly multiracial, and those of us who support the right of parents to raise their children with a strong sense of identity in their combined heritages.

     

    It's a complex issue, due to the history in this country of the one-drop-rule (not followed in most other countries), and the belief by many that embracing one's full identity somehow devalues the Black part of one's heritage, which is simply untrue. In the late 1980s and 1990s, the multiracial movement fought long and hard for the right to raise our chidlren with a deep sense of their full, rich heritages. We see this as symbolizing the ability of multiracial racial influences to come together in unity, not as a dilution of Black identity.

     

    Unfortunately, people like those interviewed in the Embrace Race piece do not have a full understanding of the history of the multiracial movement, or a deep understanding of our commitment to advocate for multiracial chidlren, their families, advocates and teachers.

     

    Thanks!

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     






  • 20.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-21-2020 11:26 AM
    Francis, I agree. It's not a white and black issue. Interestingly enough those colors don't actually exist. Children especially don't perceive them to exist, at least not as passionately as we (some) adults see them, and especially today. Growing up as an immigrant in this country, I never had to be taught that racism isn't right. I just innately knew. I highly doubt most professionals on this forum had to be taught now, during their college years and as children that racism is wrong. Those are rare cases and most of the time include other psychological underlying issues.
    Let's create a culture curriculum that welcomes everyone to get along without these plasticized adult infused agendas. It is about culture and understanding the global perspective. Once we come out of our little box of 50 States, we will finally see the real picture. This equation that we are all circling around is just becoming unnecessarily difficult.

    Best,
    Marisa

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    Marisa Bojiuc
    Student
    San Pedro CA
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  • 21.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-14-2020 08:21 AM

    I would suggest using the NAEYC Position Statement Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education as a central reading. You can access it as a PDF to download or as a live online document here https://www.naeyc.org/resources/position-statements/equity  


    It is a powerful statement focused on what equity means to us as early educators, our professional commitment and our responsibilities related to equity in our own work. I am retired from faculty work but I think I would start with the definitions offered to help everyone distinguish between bias, diversity and equity. These are very much in line with current national thinking and writing on racial equity and were an important part of the discussions that led to the development of this statement. NAEYC has long had antibias, diversity, inclusion and multicultural resources, but today's issues need a focus on equity, especially racial equity. I would explain to students that this is a position taken by our national professional association and expresses our shared commitment as early educators. Then I would use some of the excellent resources suggested here for additional readings and teaching activities. I would keep returning to our profession's position statement as a touchstone to use when making decisions in our work with children and families and as advocates for a more equitable early education system.

    When I was teaching I often used the most relevant NAEYC position statement for each course in this way. It helps students understand what a profession is, why having a national professional association matters, see ways to learn and contribute to the development of our profession's knowledge base, and sustain an identity with the profession after graduation. And in today's terms, NAEYC position statements are Open Educational Resources.



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    Alison Lutton
    Wyndmoor PA
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  • 22.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-13-2020 12:20 AM
    Hi Wei,
    This is a wonderful idea, and extremely pertinent to the time. Have you considered assigning an implicit bias activity and using the new edition of Anti-bias Education (Derman-Sparks et al.)? I don't have a copy yet, but I imagine there are good activities suggested in that resource. Best of luck!
    Melissa Burnham

    ------------------------------
    Melissa Burnham, Ph.D.
    Professor
    University of Nevada, Reno
    Reno NV
    ------------------------------



  • 23.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-13-2020 08:27 AM
    Hello Wei,
    Thank you for tackling the subject of anti-racism. Dealing with this subject is not a soft topic.  Here are a few of my suggestions for your class this fall;
    • Have your students research Gil Scott-Heron, a singer who created the song "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised". Have the students to submit a 2 page paper on their interpretation of the song.
    • Create an debate for your students. The debate will address the goals of the KKK vs.  The Black Panthers.  Make sue you have some black students on the side of the KKK and some white students on the Black Panther side. 
    Music is very important in all cultures. Play a couple of these  songs in class and discuss  how they address racism or anti-racism;
    • Bob Dylan's -Subterranean Home sick Blues
    • Public Enemy-Fight the Power
    • Gil Scott-Heron-Whitey On The Moon
    • Sam Cooke-A Change Is Gonna Come
    • Beatles-Yellow Submarine and All Together Now and "All You Need Is Love" Let know if you use any of these ideas and the result from your students.
    Darlene Ingram, M.A.
    Asst. Education Manager

    ------------------------------
    Darlene Ingram
    Assitant Education Manager
    PCDC
    Newport News VA
    ------------------------------



  • 24.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-13-2020 08:34 AM
    Hello again Wei,
    My first suggestions may be too deep for your ECE class. However, here are some more suggestions to try;
    • Have a discussion about how and why some little girls may prefer to play with a white doll vs a black doll
    • Address different foods from various cultures
    • Touch on issues of social - emotional development and how important it is in the development of children
    Darlene Ingram, M.A.
    Asst. Education manager

    ------------------------------
    Darlene Ingram
    Assitant Education Manager
    PCDC
    Newport News VA
    ------------------------------



  • 25.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-13-2020 10:19 AM
    Wei, I have used readings from the National Black Child Development Institute in my ECE courses, from their excellent resource "Being Black is Not a Risk Factor."
    https://www.nbcdi.org/resources

    This is important work we all can contribute to. Great question!

    ------------------------------
    Mary Cronin
    Director, ECE Career Pathways Grant
    Cape Cod Community College
    W Barnstable MA
    ------------------------------



  • 26.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-13-2020 11:07 AM
    Hi Wei,
    You may want to incorporate the Brown Bookshelf which is a great resource for diverse children's books. Learning about first nations people and indigenous culture is also important and often overlooked. I find this Native Land resource helpful and perhaps you will, too!

    Monica Wiedel-Lubinski
    Executive Director
    Eastern Region Association of Forest and Nature Schools (ERAFANS)
    ERAFANS.org | it's our nature
    NaturalCommunity.org







  • 27.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-13-2020 11:21 AM
    Louise Derman-Sparks: Anti-Bias Education or Young Children and Ourselves, and What if All the Kids are White? Anti-Bias/Multicultural Education for Young Children and Families.

    These are considered to be excellent source material for what you are going to be teaching.

    ------------------------------
    Eileen Donahue Brittain
    Retired Early Childhood Professor
    Baltimore, MD
    ------------------------------



  • 28.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 11:54 AM
    Here's a relevant article from The Atlantic magazine: How to be an Antiracist Teacher.  
    https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2020/06/how-be-anti-racist-teacher/613138/
    It applies to all developmental levels of teaching.

    There are also sections in the book How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi where he talks about some of his early experiences with his teachers. These might provide material for some thoughtful discussions. 

    How Ibram X. Kendi's Definition of Antiracism Applies to Schools

    https://ww2.kqed.org/app/uploads/sites/23/2019/12/D18_224_016-768x512.jpg 768w, https://ww2.kqed.org/app/uploads/sites/23/2019/12/D18_224_016-1020x680.jpg 1280w" class="img-responsive" />
    Ibram X. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research & Policy Center at American University. He is author of "How to Be An Antiracist." (Courtesy of American University)

    Americans of all backgrounds are increasingly aware of how race affects every part of life in this country. Conversations about how to address racial injustice and how to create equitable systems are happening in many industries, including education. Political conversations, increased representation of diverse voices, and data showing inequality in many areas of society are all creating a moment in which many educators are examining their practices and the policies at their schools with the intention of improving outcomes for all students. But confronting racism is hard, and many people don't want to think about how racism plays out in their own lives.

    A common refrain on MindShift articles that describe how schools are trying to address bias among teachers, that highlight a teacher's efforts to be more culturally competent, or that cite research showing the impact teachers of color have on their students, is to implore that not everything is about race. Many people who comment say it's more productive to focus on the individuals sitting in class, on helping them take personal responsibility for their lives, than to focus on big systemic issues like racism.

    Many people wonder: If we talk about race all the time, aren't we just exacerbating tensions? Wouldn't it be better to treat everyone equally and move on?

    As a race theory scholar, Ibram X. Kendi hears this argument a lot. When it comes up, he uses his cancer analogy. Kendi was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer, which he has been fighting for the past two years. As he received treatment, he couldn't help noticing the commonalities between cancer and racism -- they are both metastatic.

    "It has literally spread to every part of our body politic," Professor Kendi said on KQED's Forum program. Thinking about racism as a cancer makes the argument, "If we don't talk about it, it will go away," seem ridiculous.



    ------------------------------
    Barbara Gallios
    PreK Teacher
    Presidio Early Education School
    San Francisco CA
    ------------------------------



  • 29.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 05:46 PM
    Hi, Wei!

    Here are a few resources I've found helpful in regards to anti-bias/anti-racist teaching and parenting:

    NAEYC's 4 goals of anti-bias education:
    https://www.naeyc.org/resources/pubs/yc/nov2019/understanding-anti-bias
    Discussed in more depth in Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards

    Research regarding young children's awareness of race summarized:
    http://www.childrenscommunityschool.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/theyre-not-too-young-1.pdf

    Videos:
    https://www.ted.com/talks/liz_kleinrock_how_to_teach_kids_to_talk_about_taboo_topics?language=en#t-709538
    https://www.goodmorningamerica.com/living/story/kindergarten-teacher-makes-video-teach-kids-race-71179262
    Raising Anti-Racist Kids by the Mom Psychologist: https://youtu.be/Hw1hBynNxgo

    Podcasts:
    Raising Good Humans Podcast: Anti-Racist Parenting with Britt Hawthorne and Tiffany Jewell
    Raising Good Humans Podcast: Dr. Allison Briscoe-Smith: How we talk about race, raising anti-racist kids, and the science of hope
    Unruffled Podcast: The Power of Bias and How to Disrupt it in Our Children (with Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt)
    First Name Basis
    Parenting Forward

    The ADL also offers lots of educational resources: https://www.adl.org/education-and-resources/resources-for-educators-parents-families


    ------------------------------
    Robin Jones
    Kingston Cooperative Preschool
    Kingston WA
    ------------------------------



  • 30.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 05:42 PM
    Hi Wei,
    Obviously this is a very necessary and somewhat controversial topic as presented in the comments. over the past decade terms have been redefined, expanded, and amplified and this adds to the confusion/controvrsey. It is incredibly important to teach early educators about bias and how to address bias within themselves since this is the root skill in creating of antibiased/antiracist classrooms. Frankly I think this would take at least 2 years encompassing genetics/neurophysiology, anthropology, philosophy including social construct theory and critical thinking, world history and the rise of civilizations etc. Without that, here are some thoughts:
    How early experiences shape the brain https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/brain-architecture/
    Deep Dive into Bronfenbrenner's bioecological systems Theory possibly in a workshop format.   here's a short video https://youtu.be/aSfPSLBw-Nc, and a deeper discussion: https://youtu.be/HV4E05BnoI8, literature is searchable
    I also feel it is important  for early educators to understand that the ability to discern between comfort and discomfort is an innate part of our survival mechanism, from birth but evolves into biases as we grow and interact with our environment
    Understanding the development of social constructs with relationship to societal and historical context as well as "classical" critical thinking skills that help us make sense of our own motives as well as the motive of others are also important in being able to address and deconstruct our internal biases as well as the external biases ot authors and other who engage in conversation on the subject including ourselves.
    Some of the comments below reflect the discomfort that this subject carries especially when some of the concepts or definitions/redefinitions are not clearly explored in a nutruring way. I do believe that we need to be able to comfortably address our discomfort, and I think that understanding the evolution of such constructs allows for this. For example for most of my life, "White supremacy" and "racism" held very different meanings then the ones promoted by some people today. Healthy internal and external  about this rhetorical transformation would probably be more unifying than some of the more "shame-fostering(?)" conversations we see on social media etc.
    with regards to educating our young to be antibiased, there is no substitute for immersion and exposure during the early years not only to cultural aspects such as music, food etc. but to real live humans! Constant and consistent repetitive positive experiences build supportive brain architecture.

    ------------------------------
    Herbert Hickey
    Educator
    Horizons for Homeless Children - Schoen Family Community Children's Center
    Roxbury MA
    ------------------------------



  • 31.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-15-2020 08:18 PM
    Hello Herbert,

    I am glad to read a post that approaches this topic at the level that it deserves. As you mentioned the study of genetics/neurophysiology, anthropology, philosophy, world history and other essential theories are indeed critical to our understanding of successfully tackling racism. As you also mentioned, I also agree that the shame-fostering conversations which we experience on social media or other digital platforms are only an example of what not to become or do. There are many public relations or marketing strategies attached that monetize on this topics unlike any industrial machine of any age. We have to recognize its limit and rise above it. Please consider taking that point of view into consideration coming from my journalism background.

    So far I have noticed a discomfort of open-mindedly welcoming diverse points of view that try to find the same solutions. That however is unfortunately also present in most industries. The moment someone brings a question or theory that is slightly new, we close off and defend an outdated position instead of boldly advancing forward to understand it.

    Developing assignments and curriculum randomly based on skin color is wrong and not the kind of education future that I imagine learning and teaching in. Our responsibility is to advance, not go back 300 years and repeat our ancestors' mistakes. Not everything that seems right today in the spur of the moment, actually is. Let's reflect more as we continue to find the right path.
    As you mentioned it also depends on each professor's and student's ability to truly understand the science behind racism. I do believe however that it can be appropriate as part of courses that directly address racism. A psychology course for example that recognizes racism as a syndrome or even an illness can be an appropriate platform. It would make for an interesting study too. I am sure there are more examples of courses like this.

    Nevertheless, everyday curriculum needs to included exposure to culture and live humans, I agree; arts, music, food, local nature, values, and more! Self-esteem and etiquette classes are also needed so much and interestingly enough play an essential role as part of this debate. :)

    Best wishes,
    Paula Marisa

    ------------------------------
    Marisa Bojiuc
    Student
    San Pedro CA
    ------------------------------



  • 32.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-16-2020 01:30 PM
    Hi,

    I am not sure where you are in this process so my apologies for starting at the beginning if you are way ahead in your knowledge and teaching!

    We have found it helpful to engage students in discussions using Singleton's Courageous Conversations framework.  White students can explore their implicit and explicit biases while BIPoC students unpack their own experiences living in a white supremacist culture.

    We include racial consciousness in all of our sessions and assignments rather than isolating it into one session or one assignment.  In your planning process consider how race impacts the topic being discussed and where opportunities might arise.  It is essential to be sure that you are not using a deficit lens (talking about race in a way that focuses on oppression) and find a balance of discussing strengths, joy, and Funds of Knowledge (Moll).

    We have all found Dr. Bettina Love's book, We Want to do More than Survive, to be eye-opening and specifically helpful for teacher-educators.  Dr. Love moves us towards abolitionist models (she has done a number of webinars but her session at the Schomburg Center is my favorite.)

    I also suggest meeting as a faculty and having discussions about race and racism so that when discussions with students become uncomfortable you have experience with how to respond.

    Happy to engage with you more around this.


    ------------------------------
    Marjorie Brickley
    Eatontown NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 33.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-19-2020 10:47 AM
    Oh My Goodness! This thread has been so so helpful. I am also teaching an undergrad ECE class titled Diverse Learners. In this course, I am using Derman-Sparks & Ramsey's What if all the Kids are White? and the Derman-Sparks & Olson Edwards' Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves. I am using student reflection journals for students to process their feelings on the readings. When I am engaged in synchronous or live meetings with the students, I want to have some powerful experiences that will connect with the texts. Thank you for all the ideas listed here. The one that has blown me away as I've looked at it (made by Marjorie) is for the Singleton's Courageous Conversations framework. I found a pdf here:  http://www.polkdecat.com/Toolkit%20for%20Courageous%20Conversations.pdf. What a fantastic resource! I am so excited.
    Thanks you!!
    Erin Casey
    The University of Oklahoma

    ------------------------------
    Erin Casey
    Assistant Professor
    University of Oklahoma
    Norman OK
    ------------------------------



  • 34.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 08-19-2020 11:18 AM
    All,

    Another great resource is Don't Look Away: Embracing Anti-Bias Classrooms by Iruka, Curenton, Durden and Escayg.  It is a reflective tool as well as a practical guide.


    ------------------------------
    Marjorie Brickley
    Faculty
    Bank Street College of Education
    New York City
    ------------------------------



  • 35.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 25 days ago
    There is new research out that will be of interest to people who have followed this thread. Here are some excerpts:

    Source: American Psychological Association

    Date: 27 August 2020
    CHILDREN NOTICE RACE SEVERAL YEARS BEFORE ADULTS WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT
    Adults in the United States believe children should be almost 5 years old before talking with them about race, even though some infants are aware of race and preschoolers may have already developed racist beliefs, according to new research. Delays in important conversations could make it more difficult to change children's misperceptions or racist beliefs, said study co-author Jessica Sullivan, PhD, an associate professor of psychology at Skidmore College.
    "Children are capable of thinking about all sorts of complex topics at a very young age," she said. "Even if adults don't talk to kids about race, children will work to make sense of their world and will come up with their own ideas, which may be inaccurate or detrimental."
    Previous research has shown that 3-month-old babies prefer faces from certain racial groups, 9-month-olds use race to categorize faces, and 3-year-old children in the U.S. associate some racial groups with negative traits. By age 4, children in the U.S. associate whites with wealth and higher status, and race-based discrimination is already widespread when children start elementary school.
    Many white parents often use well-meaning but ineffective strategies that ignore the realities of racism in the United States, said study co-author Leigh Wilton, PhD, an assistant professor of psychology at Skidmore College. Some harmful approaches include a colorblind strategy (e.g., telling children "Skin color doesn't matter," or "We're all the same on the inside") or refusing to discuss it (e.g., "It's not polite to talk about that")...
    "Even if it's a difficult topic, it's important to talk with children about race, because it can be difficult to undo racial bias once it takes root," she said. "Toddlers can't do calculus, but that doesn't mean we don't teach them to count. You can have a conversation with a toddler about race that is meaningful to them on their level."
    Parents, especially white parents, need to become comfortable talking about race or it will only get more difficult as their children get older, Wilton said. "If we wait until a child is old enough to ask a tough question about the history of racial violence, then it will be that much harder to talk about if there haven't been any meaningful discussions about race earlier in their lives."
    Jessica Sullivan, Leigh Wilton, Evan P. Apfelbaum. Adults delay conversations about race because they underestimate children's processing of race.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 2020; DOI: 10.1037/xge0000851
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200827150954.htm?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+sciencedaily%2Fmind_brain%2Feducational_psychology+%28Educational+Psychology+News+--+ScienceDaily%29

    ------------------------------
    Dr. Faith Rogow
    InsightersEducation
    Ithaca NY
    ------------------------------



  • 36.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 25 days ago
    Hi Dr. Rogow!

    Thank you for sharing the piece, this is very helpful.


    ------------------------------
    Wei Dai
    Amherst NY
    ------------------------------



  • 37.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 25 days ago
    To all and especially Faith Rogow: I found the synopsis of the study on children's awareness of race very interesting. I would love to know how children articulate this knowledge. Also important is information on how you discuss race with a two year old. When my son was that age, his notice of race was color - this person skin is a dark brown, that one is light brown, this person is ivory, etc. When we use the term "awareness of race", what exactly are we talking about?

    Thanks.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 38.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 24 days ago

    Yes, thank you to Faith Rogow for sharing the article about children's perceptions about race.

    In my experience as a teacher for infants, some children notice it by the hair. In the class that I came to work in, the children from 4 months to 8 months old were pulling each other's hair because they noticed the differences and were rewarded with negative attention by the younger teachers. I took this opportunity and checked out picture books from the local library about different human hair types. It wasn't easy to find, but I managed to find a few that represented White, Black, and Latinos. I had one African American child, and the rest of the children were White or Asian but I wanted to show and celebrate each person's hair.

    In the media, we often find that young people wish to have other people's hair texture. I certainly did. But, in college, I found out that having curly hair via a perm was more work. I wanted to describe the hair color, the texture, and advantages to each person's hair with that knowledge. Even with multicultural books that had nothing to do with hair, I would point out that the person has "straight, brown hair." In class, I pointed to each person's hair and described it. They learned gentle touches by patting the other person's hair. I'd explained one child's hair as curly for the African American's hair, and how magical it was to scrunch it and the shape stays in place. In contrast, I stated that my hair was straight, and I would have to use a clip to retain its shape.

    After 4-8 weeks, the children stopped hair pulling to get attention. However, the memory is strong. An 8-month-old child had left the program and returned as a 12-month old to the center for two weeks and brought the negative hair pulling back into the infant room. I decided it was futile to change her behavior and permitted my students to revert to the former action. During this time, I redirected the advanced infants' attention to other play experiences and books. When the visiting infant left, it took two weeks to change the infants from pulling to patting hair.

    When I was a toddler teacher, one of my African students asked me, "Ms. Lee, why do you have these blue lines on your skin?" I smiled. I couldn't remember the word for Melanin, so I told her the lines are called veins, and they carry blood throughout the body. She had the veins too, but her dark skin covers them.

    When I was a kindergarten assistant teacher, all the students were aware of their skin color because they do self-portraits, but also, it's the way they look at each other and notice the differences. One African American child was lighter than his classmate, and he commented on it. I affirmed his statement, but I didn't go further because I didn't know how, and it wasn't my role. The head kindergarten teacher did a unit early in the year during a religion class that God made all the children different. Some have dark hair and skin, and others have light hair and skin. She also read a book by a children's author on the topic.



    ------------------------------
    Ling Lee
    Early Childhood Educator
    Evanston IL
    ------------------------------



  • 39.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 22 days ago

    I think we have to be VERY careful when we interpret the results of this study. Unfortunately, this is not a good venue to discuss problems with academic research! Anyone who does research – or uses it extensively – knows that all research includes a section on "interpreting the results". This is where good research often falters. Interpretation, by definition, is subjective. The interpretation of the results of this study are in many ways confusing and not helpful (and can be very destructive). Preschool children do not have a sophisticated view of race (most adults don't – including some researchers). We all know that young chidlren use their five senses to make sense of their world. Color, sound, shape, texture, smell, etc., are used by them to do this. Thus they are very cognizant of the color of a person's skin, the texture of their hair, the sound of their voice, and the accent of their language. But this DOES NOT mean they understand race! Lets look at just one issue: skin color. A person with the same light brown skin could be African American, Hispanic, Asian/Pacific Islander,  Native American, Italian, Portuguese, North African (white), Middle Eastern, Jewish, mixed-race, and so on. Thus, skin color tells a child very little about race. I talked to a parent who had adopted a child from Myanmar, who was quite dark. The child's teacher told the parent to tell his son he was Black (African American), because that was the color of his skin! By the same token the discussion in this study of the "same race effect" does not in an way mean an infant understands race! I could go on. There is a great difference between the ability to discriminate and the ability to understand!

     

    Sent from Mail for Windows 10

     






  • 40.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 22 days ago
    Thank you for your response. My thoughts as well on this research. See my earlier response.

    ------------------------------
    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 41.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 21 days ago

    Francis is right about one thing – Bulletin boards aren't great venues for detailed dialogue about research methods. I hadn't intended to do more than share an interesting resource that I came across in the course of my work, but since I've been asked directly, I'll venture a brief response.

    I interpret the research through the lens of someone who trained as an academic but left academe to do community-based work. I've been actively engaged in anti-bias efforts since the 1980s, and specifically in relation to racism and early childhood since the 1990s (starting with a PBS series called The Puzzle Place). I follow the research carefully because I help people engage in research-based practice using media. This latest study by Sullivan, Wilton, and Apfelbaum interested me in part because, as I think Alison noted, it is very much like the research that was being done a few decades ago and the longevity of key issues and concerns intrigues me.

    My own take is that there are two intertwined issues:

    1. Even very young children notice differences – all sorts of differences (as Francis notes).
    2. This is important not so much because of the noticing, but because children and society attach meaning to the differences they notice.

    What the research speaks to is children noticing racism, not the complex social construction of race per se.

              Once we frame it that way, then the distinction that Francis makes between, for example, a dark-skinned child from Myanmar and one who is the descendant of enslaved Africans in America is irrelevant. In a culture that is still working out its legacy of white supremacy, the children are not the same, but their status is.

              I think it is important to frame it as racism because race is a social, not biological construct (see, for example, the work of Audrey Smedley or any of the scholars featured in the documentary Race: The Power of an Illusion). So racial divisions are meaningless except in their social implications.

    I have no personal connection to these researchers, and wouldn't answer for them even if I did. Their methods were fairly standard, and I interpret their call for parents to talk with very young children about race as meaning that we need to help children understand – and where appropriate, challenge – the race-based actions they are seeing and the meanings that are being imposed on skin color and other physical traits. 

             That makes sense to me. In developmentally appropriate ways we can prepare ourselves so we're ready to take advantage of teachable moments. And as children are developing language, we can help them find language to describe what they are already living.

              For me, the task isn't about installing a factual knowledge base related to race; it's about instilling habits that make acting in racist ways unthinkable (and without perpetuating the white privilege inherent in not seeing race). This is sort of what Vivian Gussin Paley did with her experiment on ending exclusion (described in You Can't Say You Can't Play).

    The "default setting" of our brains is to make meaning from everything we encounter, and that process starts at birth. It's easy for those of us in positions of privilege not to notice the day-to-day experiences that differentiate our lives from the lives of people who are marginalized. Those differences shape the meaning making process. We are better educators when we acknowledge them. In communication theory, we describe it as acknowledging that everyone interprets through the lens of their own experience.

    In the U.S., all children are growing up in families that are affected by race-based differences. Sometimes those differences are enormously consequential – like whether we teach children to call police when they need help. Sometimes less so – like many of us feeling saddened by the recent death of actor Chadwick Boseman (may he rest in power), but families with Black children especially so, because they are grieving the person who played the Black Panther (and media representation matters – but that's another topic). 



    ------------------------------
    Dr. Faith Rogow
    InsightersEducation
    Ithaca NY
    ------------------------------



  • 42.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 21 days ago
    Hi all, long and complex thread, I know, but I keep coming back to the anecdote that Alison Lutton related:

    "a story a friend of mine told me in the 1990s. She was white, grew up in Romania and was now a mother raising preschoolers here in the US, navigating and learning our cultural and racial terrain. One day her 4 year old son asked her, "why do the black people have to stay behind?" She struggled to understand what he was trying to ask. They were in a fast food place eating lunch and he pointed to the counter. It dawned on her that in their community the few times he saw Black adults they were very likely to be behind a counter. He had constructed his own understanding of this as a rule and was curious about why."

    In terms of the art of teaching, I find this a fascinating prompt for a case study, and very useful in terms of Wei Dai's original request regarding building anti racism assignments into a syllabus.

    This anecdote prompts discussion of a fundamental learning issue while including an analysis of racial bias, rather than segregating the study of bias as a separate issue. The ongoing learning that we start as students and never finish is to understand how a young person is thinking, how they are forming their understanding of the world around them, and how to respond in a developmentally appropriate way that gives them the information that they seek in a form they can use.

    Children toss us little breadcrumbs of sentences, "Why do the black people have to stay behind?" We get clues from the setting: They were in a fast food place eating lunch and he pointed to the counter.

    I would be delighted to see a robust conversation among the ECE students on how they might check for understanding and respond to that child. What adult assumptions (including racial bias) might get in the way of seeing the child's perspective? What kind of response could build on the child's existing construct of their world, while expanding it to allow for a conversation about skin tone and the social systems that create the "behind" situation that the child is correctly observing?

    ------------------------------
    Karen Lefkovitz
    Independent Consultant
    Philadelphia PA
    ------------------------------



  • 43.  RE: Incorporate Anti-racism assignments to College ECE Classes

    Posted 24 days ago
    Yes, thank you to Faith Rogow for sharing the article about children's perceptions about race. I forgot to add in my previous comment that the head kindergarten teacher did a unit early in the year during a religion class that God made all the children different. Some have dark hair and skin, and others have light hair and skin. She also read a book by a children's author on the topic.

    ------------------------------
    Ling Lee
    Early Childhood Educator
    Evanston IL
    ------------------------------