Establishing a caring classroom climate that promotes fairness and respect toward others who may be different from oneself requires early childhood educators to be mindful of their curricular decisions. When students of color do not see characters who look like them reflected in dynamic and positive ways, they are denied the encouragement needed to imagine what is possible. As captured in the opening vignette, the White male chef’s picture narrowed the view for Mr. Glenn’s students about who can be a chef concerning race and gender.
Children’s identities, learning, and growth are shaped by the perspectives and experiences early childhood educators provide for children in the classroom. Upon reflection, Mr. Glenn acknowledges his example contributed to his students’ narrow view of who can be a chef. Recognizing his role in this (mis)perception by his students, Mr. Glenn immediately makes another curriculum decision to challenge and correct some of his students’ views about race and gender concerning careers.
Click here to read about the three books in the Now Read This series