Are we doing the right thing?
An Early Childhood Teacher’s Reflections on Persona Dolls as a Child-Centered Tool for Anti-bias Education
This paper shares a narrative account of an early childhood educator who is making a strong effort to engage in anti-bias education within her school community (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). While anti-bias education is broad in its scope, the focus of this research is specifically on race as it was explored in this particular classroom community. The teachers make use of current literature on anti-bias and anti-racist education, the Persona Doll approach, along with research on children’s understandings of race/racism to ground the stories narrated by Tullah Dash, an early childhood teacher contributing to this work. Tullah’s reflections on the classroom’s learning experiences are used to identify the challenges teachers might encounter when enacting anti-bias education in their daily work. We also discuss future practices and how teachers can use the Persona Doll approach in a more inclusive and responsive way. Through lessons learned, the aim is to better understand how early childhood educators can create openings and opportunities for heightening children’s social and critical consciousness (Shier, 2001).
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