Authors of a September 14th article in Newsweek entitled “Is Your Baby Racist? Exploring the Roots of Discrimination,” discussed the importance of talking to young children directly about race. Young children naturally notice and are curious about differences between groups of people. Children as young as 6-months old recognize race and gender differences in people (according to a study led by Phyllis Katz, Ph.D.). As children get older (and as young as 3), they begin to categorize people into groups based on differences. Children often rank their own group as better than others. To address young children’s natural curiosity and promote tolerance of others, it is important for parents and child care providers to have ongoing discussions with them beginning at a young age.
I found this article fascinating. I’m glad this issue is being presented for people to read and consider.The issues it presents lead me to want to read the new Anti-Bias Education, written by Louise Derman-Sparks and Julie Olsen Edwards (a revision of their Anti-Bias Curriculum written 20 years ago). This book is one of the benefits for comprehensive members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children this year. I am looking forward to having an opportunity to read and discuss it with others in the coming year.
It is useful to develop the brain of young children.