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How to Support Young Learners in Racially Diverse Classrooms

Amanda Armstrong – Edutopia |

In early childhood, educators may approach racial diversity and race-related issues from a color-blind philosophy or believe that young children are unable to understand issues of race due to their age. These approaches not only are dismissive of children and families’ experiences but also create an inaccurate portrayal of history and current events.

Additionally, color-blind approach is an ableist term that equates actual medical blindness with ignorance and implies that racism is only connected to sight and negates the structural and day-to-day issues associated with racism.

As a result, educators should intentionally create a learning environment that respects and values racial diversity while addressing students’ experiences and the historical issues that shape those experiences. Here are five research-based approaches that early childhood educators can use.

Amanda Armstrong is a research fellow with New America’s Education Policy Program and a 2020–21 National Science Foundation CADRE fellow.