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Laura Wood

Even Babies Discriminate: A NurtureShock Excerpt. | Newsweek Life | Newsweek.com - 1 views

  • Kids as young as 6 months judge others based on skin color. What's a parent to do?
    • Laura Wood
       
      I find this particularly important after seeing how some race dynamics play out in my practicum. Specifically I find myself asking "Why are all the White kids sitting together in the classroom?" This article might give one reason.
  • Prior research had shown that multicultural curricula in schools have far less impact than we intend them to—largely because the implicit message "We're all friends" is too vague for young children to understand that it refers to skin color.
    • Laura Wood
       
      Highlights the importance of being specific with kids. I'm not sure why our modesty makes us, as teachers, code and shy away from just being real with our students. One of the goals that I have set for myself this semester is to get real with students, just tell them the truth (for example saying, "That's disrespectful. Stop.") instead of playing games (for example feeling flustered and walking away or saying something vague like, "behave").
  • They wanted their children to grow up colorblind. But Vittrup's first test of the kids revealed they weren't colorblind at all. Asked how many white people are mean, these children commonly answered, "Almost none." Asked how many blacks are mean, many answered, "Some," or "A lot." Even kids who attended diverse schools answered the questions this way.

    • Laura Wood
       
      And here's the gold. Kids are not color blind. Adult embarrassment to speak about race does not mean we're not communicating messages to our children about race and prejudice, it just means that we're also communicating that it's something to be embarrassed about and/or hush up.

      I really recommend reading this article in full. It's fantastic.
  • ...2 more annotations...
  • Vittrup was taken aback—these families volunteered knowing full well it was a study of children's racial attitudes. Yet once they were aware that the study required talking openly about race, they started dropping out.
    • Laura Wood
       
      Parents are so uncomfortable talking about race with their children, they drop out of the study. Why is this conversation So hard to have???
  • hardly any of these white parents had ever talked to their children directly about race.
    • Laura Wood
       
      To quote Zinn "you can't be neutral on a moving train"

      (i.e. you can't fail to proactively oppose a racist infrastructure/social order without perpetuating that racist infrastructure/social order. i.e. If you don't teach your kids explicitly anti-racist behavior, language and attitudes, you tacitly support and perpetuate a racist system - whether you are racist or not)
  •  
    An article that summarizes some incredibly important findings on race and racism. Specifically, if you don't talk about racism with kids, you support the status quo. Even very young kids.
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