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ERIC Number: EJ865915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1066-5684
How Young Is Too Young? Exploring Beginning Teachers' Assumptions about Young Children and Teaching for Social Justice
Kelly, Deirdre M.; Brooks, Mary
Equity & Excellence in Education, v42 n2 p202-216 2009
This study investigates what preservice elementary school teachers assume about children's capacities to learn about equity issues and how teachers might translate teaching for social justice into actual classroom practices. Participants said they did not see the age of their students as a barrier to teaching for social justice, although their ways of conceptualizing this varied considerably, and those teaching grade 4-6 students were generally more risk-taking in the curricular and pedagogical choices they made. We found that the concepts of "childhood innocence" and "developmental appropriateness" mediated the topics and approach to topics that beginning teachers considered. Roughly half the participants believed that younger children are relatively uninterested in the events of the day, are incapable of forming nuanced opinions, and are unable to analyze political issues; while the other half disagreed. Participants concerned about engendering negative emotional responses from elementary students made more limited and generic responses to name-calling or teasing rather than naming specific forms of oppression or prompting students to reflect critically on hurtful language and behavior.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 4; Grade 5; Grade 6
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A