Moving Beyond Colorblindness in Early Childhood Classrooms

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Countering the position that colorblindness is desirable for teachers and children, this article encourages early childhood education teachers to engage in conversations about race and racism with young children. We discuss why the early childhood years are important for interrupting racism and make suggestions for helping children develop tools for addressing it. Annotated examples of children’s drawings about racism from a second grade classroom are shared to demonstrate that young children are not colorblind and that they think about and experience racism in their daily lives. We conclude that it is both an educational and ethical necessity to address racism with young children.

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Correspondence to Gloria Swindler Boutte.

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Boutte, G.S., Lopez-Robertson, J. & Powers-Costello, E. Moving Beyond Colorblindness in Early Childhood Classrooms. Early Childhood Educ J 39, 335 (2011).

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  • Early childhood education
  • Ethics
  • Diversity
  • Anti-racist