Diversity in Education
Even two years later, the infographic on the left is close to correct. It is an important issue for parents, schools, libraries and students to confront by requiring an ongoing effort of all who select books for K-12 students.
Dahlen, Sarah Park. "Picture This: Diversity in Children's Books 2018 Infographic." Musings on Korean Diaspora, Children's Literature, and Adoption, 19 June 2019. Infographic - even from 2018, this will be useful. https://readingspark.wordpress.com/2019/06/19/picture-this-diversity-in-childrens-books-2018-infographic/
ISSUES AROUND DIVERSITY IN K-12 BOOKS
Adichie, Chimamanda Ngozi. “The Danger of a Single Story.” TEDGlobal 2009. Video. “Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.”
BCALA and ALSC. “Community, Connecting, Cultivating & Constructing Conversations Through Literacy Reading List (Preschool-12th grade).” Black Caucus of the American Library Assn and Assn for Library Service to Children.
Martin, Amy. “Too Good To Be True? Picture Book Portrayals of Police Officers Don’t Reflect Everyone’s Reality | Opinion.” SLJ, 2 June 2020. “My one-year-old daughter is really into trucks right now. One of her favorite books of the moment is I Love Trucks by Philemon Sturges. Every time I read it to her, she points to the trucks pictured in the back and makes me name them. She starts with the one labeled “police truck,” with the description, “A police truck often carries rescue equipment, such as inflatable boats and a giant airbag.” I contrasted that with the police trucks I saw today on my Twitter feed, in the downtown streets of my city—Oakland, California—all weekend…”
Hinton, Marva. “Little House, Big Problem: What To Do with “Classic” Books That Are Also Racist.” SLJ, 28 May 2020. “Figuring out to how to handle classics that critics say haven’t aged well can be tough for librarians charged with putting together school collections. Students have been reading To Kill a Mockingbird, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and the “Little House” series for generations, and for many years, having these “classics” available in school libraries was a given. But today, some media specialists are questioning the proper place for these and other novels.”
Venkatraman, Padman. “Weeding Out Racism’s Invisible Roots: Rethinking Children’s Classics | Opinion.” School Library Journal, 19 June 2020.
VIDEOS & SERIES ON DIVERSITY IN K-12 BOOKS
Bookmarks: Celebrating Black Voices. Netflix. “…a live-action collection of twelve five minute episodes featuring prominent Black celebrities and artists reading children's books from Black authors that highlight the Black experience.” “The books featured in the series were chosen using a social justice education framework that focused on concepts of Identity, Respect, Justice, and Action. In addition to the series selections, [there] are recommendations for additional books, questions, and activities for children of different ages.
VIDEO Lin, Grace. “The Windows and Mirrors of Your Child’s Bookshelf.” TEDX video (12+ minutes), 18 March 2016. “What your child reads sets the path for their own self-worth as well as how they see others. Grace Lin is a children's book author/illustrator whose book, “Where the Mountain Meets the Moon,” received the Newbery Book Honor. She shows how the books that are not on your child's bookshelf are just as important as those that are.”
VIDEO Lin, Grace. “Cultural Mirrors and Windows.” Reading Rockets video (3:58 minutes), 23 Apr 2014. “Lin's first picture book, The Ugly Vegetables, was based on her mother's garden and her own childhood experience as the only Asian girl in her class.”
VIDEO Sims, Rudine. “Mirrors, Windows and Sliding Doors.” Reading Rockets video (1:33 minutes), 30 Jan 2015. “We need diverse books because we need books in which children can see reflections of themselves – but also look through and see other worlds.”
SCHOOLS & SYSTEMIC PREJUDICE
Alexander, Victoria Lynn. Anti-Racist Resource Guide: Education. “The Anti-Racist Resource Guide was created for anyone looking to broaden their understanding of anti-racism and get involved to combat racism, specifically as it relates to anti-Blackness and police violence. Within this guide, please find a variety of resources to explore practical ways to understand, explain, and solve seemingly intractable problems of racial inequity, white supremacy, police violence, & systemic injustice.”
Gershonson, Seth and Nicholas Papageorge. “The Power of Teacher Expectations.” Could differences in teachers’ expectations of white students and black students help to explain gaps in key outcomes such as college enrollment and completion? “To explore these questions, we analyze the federal Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, which followed a cohort of 10th-grade students for a decade. Among other questions, the students’ teachers were asked whether they expected their students to complete a four-year college degree. We use these responses to first document the presence of racial bias in teachers’ expectations, and then study the effects of differences in teacher expectations on students’ likelihood of completing college.”
Gewertz, Catherine. “Survey of Mostly-White Educators Finds 1 in 5 Think Textbooks Accurately Reflect People of Color.” Teaching Now blog (EdWeek), 29 June 2020.
Kozol, Jonathan. “Savage Inequalities.” Brainwaves production. “In the passion of the civil rights campaigns of 1964 and 1965, Jonathan Kozol gave up the prospect of a promising career in the academic world, moved from Harvard Square into a poor black neighborhood of Boston, and became a fourth grade teacher. He has since devoted nearly his entire life to the challenge of providing equal opportunity to every child in our public schools.” He is clearly still fighting in this 5:30 minute video.
Quinn, Christina. “Dismantling Systemic Racism Starts In Schools, Educators Say: Decolonizing The U.S. School Curriculum.” WGBH Boston podcast, 6 Aug 2020.
Racial Equity Education Resources. The organization states “The connection between systemic racism and inequality is no longer deniable, and it’s time for our school districts to shuffle themselves over to the right side of history and address both in a profound and effective way.” The Resources offer links to curricula and textbooks at K-12 levels, as well as consulting support.
ILLUSTRATING THE PROBLEM
Lu, Denise et al. “Faces of Power: 80% Are White, Even as U.S. Becomes More Diverse.” NYT, 9 Sep 2020. “These are 922 of the most powerful people in America. 180 of the identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, multiracial or otherwise a person of color.” In a creative digital format, this article illustrates with photographs of police chiefs, prosecutors, Trump appointees, Supreme Court Justices, military chiefs and more.