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Return to Book Page. Criss Jones Diaz. Early childhood professionals are often required to work with children and families from a range of diverse backgrounds. This book gives an overview of relevant social theories such as: post-structuralism, cultural studies, post-colonialism, feminist perspectives, and queer theory. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title.

Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Diversity and Difference in Early Childhood Education , please sign up. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Nov 19, Stef Rozitis rated it it was amazing Shelves: , 5-star , education , inclusion. I have a feeling I have already given out 5 stars to too many books this year so I tried really hard to find a flaw with this one.

I could try to come up with something but it would be pretty contrived, the thing is this book twisted and turned carefully and with honesty and complexity through all the issues of inclusion- nationality, language, gender, indigenaity although this was perhaps one of the weakest aspects of the book, but nevertheless some brilliant and very clear points were made ab I have a feeling I have already given out 5 stars to too many books this year so I tried really hard to find a flaw with this one.

I could try to come up with something but it would be pretty contrived, the thing is this book twisted and turned carefully and with honesty and complexity through all the issues of inclusion- nationality, language, gender, indigenaity although this was perhaps one of the weakest aspects of the book, but nevertheless some brilliant and very clear points were made about the need for some primacy in Indigeneity rather than obscuring this "identity" under multiculturalism. The book also didn't shrink from the "unmentionables" race, social class and sexuality.

Perhaps the smallest emphasis was on social class there seems to be a lot of work still to be done there but it is hard to get beyond the criticism of widespread and unthinking inequity for a start. In each case the book looked at what the issue is, how it impacts children and families and what the likely outcome is of trying to ignore the issue or just waft vague "niceness" at it.

Do Children See Differences? Children are around two or three when they begin to notice physical differences among people—some are short and others tall, some have blue eyes and others have brown, and some have dark skin while others have light skin. They notice hair—some straight, some short, some long, and some have none at all. A few years ago, my three-year-old neighbor asked my balding father, "Where is all your hair, anyway?

The way in which children deal with and interpret what they observe as different is affected by a variety of influences.


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These influences include what they see and hear in their homes, at school, and in their neighborhoods; what they view in the media; and what they are told by friends, relatives, neighbors, and teachers. We have all heard comments similar to the following: "Chaz is in a wheelchair so he can't play with us. For some adults, biased statements are unintentional. However, such statements do feed the intolerances our children adopt. By simply rethinking our own biases and prejudices which are easy to have , teachers and caregivers can be careful not to label others.

We need to encourage children to see people as individuals, not as groups. Think of the things you may say which place people in categories, and remember none of us behave like any particular group all of the time. The things we say can be the catalyst for children's intolerance for certain groups of people or the underlying cause of children's acceptance of individuals. Listen to yourself. Have you made any inaccurate generalizations?

Growing a mentally healthy generation

Listen With Your Eyes and Heart As adults, we view the world through our mature eyes—not those of children. Consequently, we do not always recognize the concerns of children or see them as being as critical as a child sees them. How have you responded to the child who runs up to you in tears and says, "Look, I hurt my…" Most of us give it a quick glance and say, "You're okay, now go on and play. A good listener actively processes information and asks relevant questions. Are you an early childhood professional who actively listens when a child shares concerns regarding differences?

If a child in your care were to ask, "Why does that man talk like that?

To listen effectively, they suggest you stop what you are doing and look a child in the eye. When you do not acknowledge a child's questions or feelings, or do not respond to a child's needs or concerns in an interested, caring, and honest manner, a child may begin to feel ignored and confused. Make Explanations Simple and Concrete Early childhood teachers and caregivers might wonder how to counter the negative stereotypes children see and hear on television, in the movies, or with their friends or family.

There are a number of things you can incorporate into your daily activities. When talking to children, keep their age and developmental stage in mind. Use words and descriptions they can understand.

Anti-bias lessons help preschoolers hold up a mirror to diversity

For instance, if a child were to say, "Why are Ming's eyes funny? Her parents are Chinese and most people who are Chinese have eyes shaped like hers. It's not okay to say her eyes look funny because they aren't funny. That would hurt her feelings. Her eyes are shaped that way and your eyes are shaped a different way.

Diversity | NAEYC

Eyes can have many different shapes and can look different. Recently, a mother shared a story about her daughter Jenna. The mother took Jenna to a doctor she had never seen before. When the child went into the office, she noticed a sharp contrast in their skin color — the parent and child were white and the doctor was black. She asked in the piercing voice of a four-year-old, "Mommy, what color is he?

By not attempting to quiet her child or ignore her question, this parent helped her daughter realize that differences exist. Whatever the age of the children in your care, be certain not to dismiss their inquisitiveness.


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  • If a child senses an open climate in the child care setting, he or she will be more able to share concerns with you. By immediately taking the time to discuss questions and concerns with young children in an age-appropriate manner you send several messages. First, your interest says that what concerns you concerns me. Second, your response helps clear up inaccuracies and erroneous generalizations. Third, talking with children helps to make them more comfortable with the differences they see. In addition, your dialogue gives them the vocabulary needed to talk positively about differences themselves.

    Both parents and teachers can be embarrassed by the questions children ask.

    See a Problem?

    This is the teacher or caregiver who may simply ignore a child's questions about observed differences or the adult who may respond, "Oh, we all know that everybody's really the same. Although in making such a statement you may mean well, you in fact, confuse the child who already clearly recognizes that we are all quite different. We must respond to differences in a positive way and speak up when we encounter bias and prejudice. Children take their lead from the behavior of the adults around them.

    If someone makes a disparaging remark in form of you and you say nothing, the child assumes that you agree with that person's comment. If you disagree, make a point of saying so. A simple statement of disagreement with those who may make unkind, negative, or disparaging comments will give the children in you care a true sense of what you believe.


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    • If you respond to a comment that labels Brandon as a problems child by saying, "Oh, I think Brandon tires very hard. I think he will do a good job on this activity," you tell the other children that none of us has to agree with the prejudice that may come from others. Give Children Opportunities for Exposure Of course, not every child or family has the same opportunities and positive experiences with diversity.