Start Seeing Diversity

Over the next few weeks, my blog will be centered around the Video “Start Seeing Diversity”.  This video, shows ways in which educators can promote anti-bias curriculum in their classrooms, as well as how us adults working with children can transform our teaching.

For this blog, the two topics of discussion are gender and sexual orientation.  Both topics have been what I would consider almost “taboo” for many years.  Many books, toys, and movies are still very gender oriented, as well the attitudes that parents have about how their children play.  As I prepared for this assignment this week, I looked around the center that I work at, and I noticed a few things.  The first thing is that the dress up clothes in most housekeeping areas were very girl specific.  The choices were dresses, purses, and hats.  The next thing that I noticed is that most of the girls were playing in areas such as housekeeping and boys were playing more in areas like the block area. 

I do feel that over the years I have had many parents express that they do not want their boys playing with dolls, nor do they want them dressing up in dresses.  The way that they acted I felt as if they thought their children would be gay just because of the choices that they were making during free play.  About a year ago, I found a picture on Facebook of a little boy playing with a doll, and the caption said something to the effect of “practicing being a good daddy”.  I really wanted to make copies of this and hand them out to all the parents.  Unfortunately, the other downside is usually when children are discouraged by their parents to play with certain toys, they won’t choose those toys again.  The two questions that I feel the video raised this week are; 1. Do we rate girls more on their appearance and boys more on their performance, and 2, Is it stereotype or truth?

The center where I work does have a family with two moms.  When they started coming to the center, a parent was very upset because they saw a family picture hanging on the wall with the two moms.  She was concerned that her child would be exposed to something that went against her morals and values.  This was a wonderful opportunity for our center to take a stand, and show that we support all families.  Basically, it became our stand that all families are welcome, and that we will make sure that all families are represented in our classrooms.  Today as I look around the center I see many items that represent this.  We have books, posters, and photos that show diversity among families.  I have also heard conversations that the teachers have had with the children about family diversity. 

I think that it is important for us to help educate parents on why an anti-bias approach is so important and how we are not only trying to protect the children in our work place, but also make this a world for all children to be accepted.  As the video pointed out this week we need to help all children gain good identity, and help them to acknowledge that there are differences. 

 

References

Laureate Education (Producer). (n.d.). Start seeing diversity: Sexual orientation [Video file].  Retrieved from Walden University

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3 thoughts on “Start Seeing Diversity

  1. Hi Cindy,

    I have never interacted with you in previous online classes, however I enjoyed reading your post, especially how you took a look around your classroom, to see if any toys, posters or books displayed diversity, bias or not. I am thankful that the school I am currently in gives their class teachers a budget to buy classroom items of our choice. Last year in my classroom, I had seen many items in the role-play area, such as the dress up clothes were biased and this year was able to purchase clothing items that although can seem biased e.g. a nurse, a doctor, a pilot, I watched my children dress up to be who they wanted to be rather than me or anyone else saying a girl is a nurse and a boy is a doctor, some of by boys loved being a nurse and some of my girls loved being a doctor. Quite a few boys in my class were also holding toy babies and playing with toy babies, pretending to be a father, just like you had mentioned. I especially found it helpful to know that there is a book called “William’s Doll” from the video segment we watched this week called Sexual Orientation.

    I often think that we get in the way of children’s play and we try to push our poor views onto them. What are your thoughts about this?

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  2. Cindy,

    Certainly, we must talk about race to help students understand the civil rights movement. Learning works through a process of assimilating new knowledge into existing beliefs about the world. Unexplored and unacknowledged background ideas or assumptions too easily create emotional obstacles to student learning. This is particularly true when teaching about race and racism. Race is a social construct, not a biological given. Still, race matters. It shapes our experiences and has real impacts, from the smallest interpersonal interaction to the largest institutional arrangements. Many teachers believe that ignoring race—adopting a colorblind stance—is the best way to overcome its negative power.

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  3. I am glad to hear that your program took a stand and stood up for the family with two same-sex parents. And happy to hear that there are items in your classroom to represent that. As far as the dramatic play area, something I started doing awhile back to get more boys in that center and change it up from the typical housekeeping center, I started changing the center out every other month so that it has a completely new theme. It has been a doctors office, a international restaurant, a apple orchard, a gas station, a veterinarians office, and so on. This allows the children to explore more roles than the traditional mom/dad/baby roles they tended to always pick when playing house. It allows us to discuss how both girls and boys can play all these roles, and learn more vocabulary. I also keep a variety of clothes in the dress up bin. There are gender neutral pants and tops and lots of long scarves and pieces of fabric they can turn into whatever type of costume they want.

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