Monday, 15 December 2014

Blog Week 8: What I Have Learned

One hope that you have when you think about working with children and families who come from diverse backgrounds (any format and any length)
I hope, and it is my conviction that I will do all that I can do in order to ensure that all children and families within my care and classroom feel as though they are respected, seen and valued. I want to ensure that I create partnerships with families so that together we can meet the needs of every child.

One goal you would like to set for the early childhood field related to issues of diversity, equity, and social justice (any format and any length)
As a result of the learning I have gained from the past eight weeks of this course and through my learning within this program in its entirety, I understand and appreciate the need to teach diversity and anti-biased education in a more profound way than ever before. A goal that I have and maintain is the desire to develop a deeper awareness of issues that involve diversity. As I mentioned in my discussion post this week, a goal that I have for myself is to remain current and knowledgeable through professional development and my own study. In my first diversity course, I reflected and realized that to me, culture was based solely on a person’s race. I have discovered and now have a deeper understanding that diversity encompasses much more.
A brief note of thanks to your colleagues
I want to thank you all for a great eight weeks of learning and professional growth. I wish you all much success in all of your future endeavors, and hope that our paths cross again. Thanks!

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Blog Week 7: Start Seeing Diversity- Creating Art

My “art” this week was inspired by John Lennon’s song Imagine. I used photos and clipart that to me, convey the meaning and importance of diversity and anti-bias education.
Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...

Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for

And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one

-“Imagine” by John Lennon

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Blog Post Week 6: "We Don't Say Those Words in Class!"

A time when you witnessed an adult (or yourself) reprimand or silence a child after he or she pointed out someone they saw as different (e.g., "That lady talks funny," " That man only has one leg!" "Why is that man so pretty!"). Include what the child said and what the adult did or said in response. (Note: If you cannot think of a specific time ask a friend or family member.)
                A few years ago my friend and I took her daughter (six years old) to the Mall of America in Minneapolis during a long weekend. Coming from a smaller city center she was rarely exposed to different ethnicities and cultural diversity. A group of Indian woman wearing bindis walked by and she asked us “What’s wrong with their heads”? Her mom hushed her to be quiet and no conversation took place afterwards.
What messages might have been communicated to this child by the adult's response
                I believe that several messages could have been communicated and misconstrued as a result of my friend’s response. First, she was shamed about asking a question about people who are different from her. “Young children need caring adults to help them construct a positive sense of self and a respectful understanding of others. They need adults to help them begin to navigate and resist the harmful impact of prejudice and discrimination (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2010, p.11). Secondly, not answering her question made it seem like associating with people different from her is bad or inappropriate. “Learning about culture and fairness involves two dimensions: children’s development pf a positive cultural identity, and their comfortable, respectful interaction with the cultures of others” (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2010, p. 55).
An example of how an anti-bias educator might have responded to support the child's (or classroom’s) understanding.
                I think that the situation could have been better handled if my friend just explained the culture of the group she asked about. She could have also explained to daughter that curiosity and questions are normal and encouraged but that she should ask more discretely.
“What children, ask, say, or do about any aspect of their own or others’ identities and differences are the wonderful “teachable moments” of anti-bias education. How you respond to these opportunities is a central part of effective teaching with young children. When children make comments that reflect discomfort, stereotypes, or rejection of an aspect of diversity, they may stir up your own hurt or anger about prejudice and discrimination” (Derman-Sparks & Olsen Edwards, 2010, p.32)


Derman-Sparks, L., & Olsen Edwards, J. (2010). Anti-bias education for young children and ourselves. Washington, DC: NAEYC.