1st Edition

Educating for Social Justice in Early Childhood

Edited By Shirley A. Kessler, Beth Blue Swadener Copyright 2020
    222 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    222 Pages 9 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Bringing together scholarship and examples from practice, this book explores ways in which early childhood curriculum – including classroom practices and community contexts – can more actively engage with a range of social justice issues, democratic principles and anti-oppressive practices.

    Featuring a stellar list of expert contributors, the chapters in this volume present a cross-section of contemporary issues in childhood education. The text highlights the voices of children, teachers and families as they reflect on everyday experiences related to issues of social justice, inclusion and oppression, as well as ways young children and their teachers engage in activism. Chapters explore curriculum and programs that address justice issues, particularly educating for democracy, and culminate in a focus on the future, offering examples of resistance and visions of hope and possibility.    

    Designed for practitioners, graduate students and researchers in early childhood, this book challenges readers to explore the ways in which early childhood education is – and can be – engaging with social justice and democratic practices.

    List of Contributors  Foreword [Cinthya Saavedra]  Acknowledgements  Series Introduction [Nicola Yelland] Introduction [Shirley Kessler and Beth Blue Swadener]  Part I: Voices of Children, Teachers and Families  1.  Immigrant Children in Arizona: Social Justice Implications for Education in the Borderlands [Angeles Maldonado, Beth Blue Swadener and Casey Khaleesi]  2. Countering Color-Blindness in Early Childhood Education: Elevating the Embodied Experiences, Perspectives, and Voices of Black Women Educators [Kia S. Rideaux and Michelle Salazar Pérez]  3. Children’s Voices and Gender Pedagogies for Equity In and Out of Early Childhood Classrooms [Kylie Smith]  4. Early Childhood Teacher Certification as a Site for the Re-Production of Racial and Cultural Injustice [Mariana Souto-Manning, Gail Buffalo, and Ayesha Rabadi-Raol]  Part II: Social Justice in the Classroom: Democratic and Anti-bias Practices  5. Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Democratic Education in Early Childhood [Shirley A. Kessler]  6. "She doesn’t want to be a beautiful princess!": Language, Power, and Teaching for Democracy in the Early Childhood Classroom [Dana Frantz Bentley with Betty Chan]  7. Activism in their Own Right: Children’s Participation in Social Justice Movements [Lacey Peters]  8. The Cultural Politics of Childhood Education for Democracy in Reggio Emilia’s Servizi dell’Infanzia [Rebecca S. New]  Part III: Way Forward: Stories of hope and possibility  9. Out and About: Practicing Hope through Research [Jeanne Marie Iorio and Clifton S. Tanabe]  10. "What’s Love Got To do?": Enacting the Beloved Community Through Early Childhood Education [Mara Sapon-Shevin]  11. Social Justice in Early Education and Child Care: "What Is" and "What Ought to Be?" [Marianne N. Bloch]  12. Equality and Democratic Education Evaluation: A Way Forward for Teachers [Shirley A. Kessler]  Afterword [William Ayers]


    Shirley A. Kessler is a retired Professor of Early Childhood Education at National-Louis University, USA.

    Beth Blue Swadener is Professor of Justice Studies and Social and Cultural Pedagogy at Arizona State University, USA.

    "This is a very well-timed book in an age when democracy and institutions that are supposed to respect civil rights and social justice are undermined. With valuable knowledge and a critique of how neo-liberal policies have, in a subtle way, influenced young children and their families’ lives, the authors also offer significant examples of how early childhood educators may be able to work in a more just and ethical way for all." 

    Gunilla Dahlberg, Professor Emerita, Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University

    "A most critical time for social justice in a person's life is during their early childhood years. Today, young children or their parental representative are denied recognition, economic fairness, and unhampered representation. Shirley Kessler and Beth Blue Swadener have assembled a distinguished international team of authors to illuminate a range of social, political, economic, and environmental justice issues and show how early childhood educators, researchers, and children themselves can play a role in confronting injustice. Besides being an eye-opening and engaging personal read, this book is one you’ll want your colleagues and students to read, too."    

    Carl A. Grant, Hoefs Bascom Professor, University Wisconsin-Madison