Not so Blind After All
by mariontomlinson on November 14, 2016 - 10:16pm
Gloria, Julia and Elizabeth’s (2011) study investigated the importance of talking about race and racism at an early age. The study took place in the US in a bilingual second-grade class of 15 students; 10 boys and 5 girls. They were to read specific books that raised the issue of race/racism. Some were to respond to the book, while others would draw their thoughts on the book in order to develop their understanding of race and racism in a none harmful way. The author’s saw that all the kids showed a basic understanding of race and racism; none of these young ones were blind to the color and knew it was ‘’bad’’. By example, one of the child, Mark, drew individuals in different color and mentioned their discrimination which proves that they were aware of the differences around them. Before engaging in any activities or class discussion it is important for the elder to think about his/her thoughts on the issue. The article provides us with some tools in order to facilitate the task since it is not always easy to talk about this specific subject, and it is why teachers/educators leave it behind. But it is not something to do, in contrast it must be a consecutive event; talking about race and racism. The white dominant population is even more important to talk to, since they can be oblivious to the subject and we want them to know about the problems of colorblindness. If we do not take the time to talk about it to children it will be taught that colorblindness is more preferable and will have more chance to develop bad behaviors towards the issue. The authors state that teachers have the task to help their students build up skills and strategies they need in order to cancel it out in their lives because if we let it take over us it will hurt society even more and teachers can make a difference by talking about it to the younger generations.
I believe that this study is great, even though it’s on a very small sample of children. It opens our eyes that kids are not blind to the topic of race and racism. In fact, we should bring all our children to understand that we are all the same underneath our skin. Kids retain everything older people do, therefore the activities the study have done is a great way to influence them into the good pathway. I, who in the future, want to be a teacher and already work with young one’s learned a lot of things reading this article; it provides us with a guide in order to better approach the topic to kids. On my side, after reading this article I will definitely have my future class take part in discussions and activities in order to avoid and reduce racial discrimination and everything surrounding it to show them the acceptable ways to interact with different cultures and people with different skin colour. Also, what caught my eye was that I got to take a look at the kid’s drawings and responses which made it a lot more interesting because I had a visual to really understand that these young one’s know what’s going on around them race wise. After reading this article, I find that it will benefit me later on once I become an early childhood teacher. The only down point of this article is that it is made on such a small group, it would have a much bigger impact if this study was done on several other schools and an all-white school therefore we could see the differences in the children response.
Boutte, G. S., Lopez-robertson, J., & Powers-costello, E. (2011). Moving beyond colorblindness in early childhood classrooms. Early Childhood Education Journal, 39(5), 335-342. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10643-011-0457-x