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ERIC Number: EJ787759
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 24
ISSN: ISSN-0022-8958
Confronting Prejudice in the Early Childhood Classroom
Araujo, Luisa; Strasser, Janis
Kappa Delta Pi Record, v39 n4 p178-182 Sum 2003
By age three or four, children have already begun to construct their gender and racial identity. Stereotypes, prejudices, and practices in homes, communities, and the media can negatively affect children's feelings about themselves and others. Derman-Sparks (1983, 3) warned that young children may develop "pre-prejudice," which she defined as "beginning ideas and feelings in very young children that may develop into real prejudice through reinforcement by prevailing societal biases. Pre-prejudice may be misconceptions based on young children's limited experience and developmental level, or it may consist of imitations of adult behavior. More serious forms are behaviors that indicate discomfort, fear, or rejection of differences." This article discusses some of the methods teachers can use to help children understand similarities and differences between people, and to question race-related stereotypes. Teachers should strive to move themselves and their students from a level of awareness or tolerance for diversity to a celebration of diversity. In this way, teachers can engage in multicultural education that aims at social justice. Education in a democratic society should help students acquire the knowledge, attitudes, and skills they will need to participate in civic action to make society more equitable and just. Basic characteristics of multicultural education include education that is antiracist, important for all students, pervasive, and focused on social justice and critical pedagogy.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A