Discussion: Critiquing Books for Bias and Stereotypes

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The Discussions in this course are conducted in groups. Please see the Announcements area for grouping information from your instructor. Click on the Discussion Forum link below, then click on the link to your assigned group's thread. Be sure to check for an updated Announcement at the beginning of each week as your instructor may elect to periodically update grouping assignments.

Many of us have wonderful memories of being read to as children and\or reading to children. It is often an experience that teaches the joy of language while also providing us a way to meaningfully connect socially and emotionally with others.

Books, just like other forms of media, are created by people who, just like you, have been socialized to believe a range of stereotypes and biases. An important aspect of anti-bias education and living an anti-bias life is building the skill to effectively critique books for bias. If you can spot biases and stereotypes then you are empowered to support children to do the same.

To prepare for this Discussion, review "Checklist for Assessing the Visual Material Environment" on pages 161–162 in Anti-bias Education For Young Children and Ourselves and "10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children's Books for Racism and Sexism on pages 211–213 in Rethinking early childhood education. With those articles in mind, complete the "Children's Book Bias Assessment" form based on two books (including picture books) intended for infant, toddlers, and preschool age children. Using the online resources below, a local bookstore, or an online bookstore, select one classic and one contemporary children's book and complete an assessment for each.

For suggestions on modern/contemporary literature, please use the following links:

For suggestions on classic children's books, please use this link:

Document: Children's Book Bias Assessment. Go to the Week 6 Resources area to access this document.

By Day 3

Post in response to the following prompts:

  • A copy of the completed "Children's Book Bias Assessment" for the classic children's book you read. The subject of your post should be the title of the book you assessed. (Note: you will make two separate posts – one for the classic book and one for the contemporary book)
  • A copy of the completed "Children's Book Bias Assessment" for the contemporary children's book you read. The subject of your post should be the title of the book you assessed (Note: you will make two separate posts – one for the classic book and one for the contemporary book)
  • At least two insights you gained from assessing these two books
  • 7 days ago
  • 20
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