(Un)Critical Literacy in the Classroom: Educators Reading about Race and Gender

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27th International Reconceptualizing Early Childhood Education (RECE) Conference


Although the lay public perceives children as innocent and color-evasive, young children develop racial and gender stereotypes between 3-5 years of age (Levy & Hughes, 2009). The ways in which early childhood educators discuss race and gender with young children have been largely unexplored. Thus, the current study explores these themes via two case studies of preschool teachers in the Southwestern U.S. who were familiar with anti-bias curricula (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). One method of discussing raceand racism, as well as gender and sexism, involves the use of children’s books (Lazar & Offenberg, 2011), the focus of the current paper. One teacher was a 30-year-old, White, cis-gender, gay, female and the other teacher was a 45-year-old, White, cis-gender, heterosexual, female.



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