Race in the Early Childhood Classroom

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In a bustling early childcare classroom, it was a usual day with all sorts of wails and giggles in the background. Out of the corner of my eye I watched as a conversation between children escalated and as a fellow teacher made moves to intervene. I was closer and I saw a Black hand rise to strike. I grabbed his small brown wrists with a tight grip, stopping its momentum. He looked up at me, panic-stricken, and said defiantly, precisely, “Don’t touch my body.” My White hands withdrew instantly as he bolted off and I listened as a different White teacher chastised him for running in the classroom. I turned away confused and stroked the blond hair of the child who I thought had almost been hit.

I am applying to the Arizona School of Social Transformation’s Social and Cultural Pedagogy Masters program to further interrogate this representative moment of power and authority in the early childhood classroom. This moment has stuck with me as exemplary of my role within systems of power and how my positionality within these systems affects others. The Social and Cultural Pedagogy program will allow me to further deconstruct how race, gender, and sexuality function in pedagogy through the School of Social Transformation’s intersectional...

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