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Book Review Group 14 11/16/15

Rethinking Early Childhood Education

Edited by Ann Pelo

What we read:

Part 1

“What Color is Beautiful?” (Alejandro Segura-Mora, 3-6)

“Why an Anti-Bias Curriculum” (Louise Derman-Sparks, 7-12)

“Developmental Themes, Tasks, and Goals in Anti-Bias Work” (Margie Carter and Deb Curtis, 13-16)

“Raising Issues of Race with Young Children” (Rita Tenorio, 17-22)

“Using Persona Dolls to Help Children Develop Anti-Bias Attitudes” (Trisha Whitney, 23-28)

“Where Are the Game Girls” (Ann Pelo, 35-40)

“Rethinking the Three Little Pigs” (Ellen Wolpert, 41-42)

“What if all the Kids are White?: Anti-Bias Themes for Teaching Young Children” (Louise Derman-Sparks and Patricia Ramsey, 43-48)

“Unwrapping the Holidays: Reflections on a Difficult First Year” (Dale Weiss, 49-54)

Part 2

Part 3

“Testing Lang” (Amy Gutowski, 113-114)

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

“Welcoming Kalenna: Making Our Students Feel at Home” (Laura Linda Negri-Pool, 161-170)

“Talking the Talk: Integrating Indigenous Languages into a Head Start Classroom” (Cathis DeWeese-Parkinson, 175-176)


(We chose to read stories that were based closely on what we were learning in class so we could relate the readings to the articles we read for class)



     In summary, the chapters that we read in the book were a collection of stories that taught about dealing with social justice and teaching young children. The majority of the stories we read were from Part One, which talked about anti-bias and culturally sensitive teaching and learning. The book shows us how, as early childhood educators, how to be activist for all different types of families and students in our classroom, while providing a nurturing and empathetic environment. The stories provide us an opportunity to rethink early childhood educational practices.

     We overall really enjoyed the book and all of the advice and emotional stories it had to offer. We liked the fact that the book gave us difficult situations and then offered solutions to these problems. The book gave us new ideas about ways of thinking. There are so many lesson plans and ideas that the book provided to further our effectiveness in the classroom. It is full of progressive stories that engaged us to want to read more. It allowed us to critically think about subjects and the hidden bias that we may not have thought about if we didn’t read the book. The book overall improved our understanding of touchy subjects in education. We think that the book is an excellent teaching guide for new and old teachers.We were not able to finish the book, but we will continue reading the book on our own because it is a great resource.



11/9/15 Group 14

We read “Where Are the Game Girls” by Ann Pelo. This story is about a class with four-year-olds. One of the girls in the class asked, “Why are there Game Boys, but not Game Girls?”. The teacher leads the students in a discussion/research about stereotypical girl games and boy games. The class came up with the conclusion that girls and boys can all play the same games and have the same interests. The class even wrote a letter to the Game Boy company voicing their concerns.

We thought it was really cool that the research project started with an observation and actively analyzed the question through their fellow classmates. We talked about different kinds of curriculum’s in one of our other education classes. We think this could be a learner-center curriculum. The question sparked a discussion that could be turned into a lesson and a project. The teacher is demonstrating that the students have a say in society and that they shouldn’t be afraid to voice their opinion.

Question about immigration from the class

  • How can we incorporate different cultures into the class so all students feel comfortable?
  • How do you feel about the subject of home visits?

PLC Group 14 10/12/15

Welcoming Kalenna was about a classroom that had a new student named Kalenna, who was from the Marshall islands. The teacher, who was Mexican American, wanted to make Kalenna feel at home just like she had in elementary school. The teacher brought in Kalenna’s family to teach the class songs and bring in things that reminded her of home. Holiday Lessons Learned in an Early Childhood Classroom give different principles to having an anti-bias holiday curriculum. Both stories highlighted the importance of basing the curriculum off the children’s backgrounds and family-life.

This relates to Shauna McLeod’s video posted in response to our PLC in that McLeod discusses how indigenous peoples are misrepresented in the classroom. Oftentimes, indigenous peoples are discussed in a disrespectful and demeaning manner.  McLeod worries about the self-esteem of indigenous peoples and recommends that we invite members of the community to share their cultures with our classes in the future, just like the readings suggest.

Group 14


Our group read the chapter Using Persona Dolls. The story was a case study of a classroom that used Kids Like Us dolls that represented some of the kids in the class. The story demonstrated the hidden bias that children have and created the opportunity to discuss those in a structured setting. While we were observing in other daycares we noticed that some of the classrooms tried to be inclusive by including pictures and dolls with differing races. We also read the chapter, Raising Issues of Race With Young Children. This chapter discussed specific ways that teachers could incorporate race into in the curriculum.

These chapters help us remove this presence of innocence and ignorance that whites have according to Bettez. Bettez said that the first step to fixing the problem and bias is admitting that there is a problem and bias, and that is what the teachers are trying to do with the Persona Dolls.


What age is appropriate to begin talking about race and other controversial topics?

PLC 14 (8/31/15)

Group Members:

  • Kelly Beery, Renee Coleman, Alison Hunt, Jamie VandeGuchte

Summary Rethinking Early Childhood Education:

“What Color is Beautiful?” (Alejandro Segura-Mora, 3-6)

  • young boy takes vitamins, mother tells him they will turn his skin white
  • teacher goes into background about how she thought curly hair was ugly, prayed to God for straight hair
  • moral: Everybody Is Beautiful, students should modify values of beauty
  • talking about social issues can change people’s perspective

“Rethinking the Three Little Pigs” (Ellen Wolpert, 41-42)

  • How most houses in America are built with brick, therefore brick houses are better than others
  • in other cultures (non-European) houses are less likely to be made of brick
  • Why may houses be built differently in different cultures (weather, etc.)
  • Moral: don’t refuse the stories, but use them to pose questions and have discussion

Connections to Course Materials:

  • people are brought up to believe certain things
  • white middle-class is the norm

Highlights of Group Discussion:

  • brought up to think that everybody should have a strong foundation (bricks)
  • curriculum as a window and mirror (Sleeder)
  • Lexile level website

Questions to pose to practicing educators?

  • Are you using what you’re reading as opportunity for discussion/pose questions and expand knowledge?

Has our Mission Statement Changed?

  • Our mission statement has not changed.

Next Week’s Reading Assignment and Rationale:

  • Next week we are reading the following:
  • Using Persona Dolls to Help Children Develop Anti-Bias Attitudes (p. 17 – 22)
  • Raising Issues Of Race with Young Children (p. 23 – 29)