Early Childhood Education: Representation of Diverse Identities in Children’s Books

Sophie Truman

In Early Childhood Education, creating community through inclusive representation is an important anti-bias principle, and is part of best practice. In my Language and Literacy course, we address unconscious bias in the publishing industry by discussing this graphic, which illustrates diversity, or lack thereof, in children’s picture books. Students discuss what the lack of representation in children’s picture books means for our teaching practice, as well as the impact of a biased classroom library on how it shapes a child’s view of themselves and others. An extension activity is that each student goes back to their classroom libraries to examine their own titles, and we have large and small group discussions about their findings, as well as examine anti-bias resources for adding new/different titles.

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Huyck, David and Sarah Park Dahlen. (2019 June 19). Diversity in Children’s Books 2018. sarahpark.com blog. Created in consultation with Edith Campbell, Molly Beth Griffin, K. T. Horning, Debbie Reese, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, and Madeline Tyner, with statistics compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison: https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/literature-resources/ccbc-diversity-statistics/books-by-about-poc-fnn/. Retrieved from https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/.  Released for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0 license). You are free to use this infographic in any of your work, including presentations and published work, so long as you provide the full citation noted above.

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