Title

Looking forward, looking back: framing the future for teaching for social justice in early childhood education

Document Type

Article

Publication details

Hawkins, KA 2014, 'Looking forward, looking back: framing the future for teaching for social justice in early childhood education', Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, vol. 39, no. 3, pp. 121-128.

Peer Reviewed

Peer-Reviewed

Abstract

THERE IS LITTLE DOUBT that throughout the preschool years children are not only becoming more aware of themselves and their surroundings but they are also developing their moral frameworks by absorbing the attitudes and values of their family, culture and society. Undeniably the preschool years are crucial in shaping cultural and racial understandings and are critical in forming attitudes towards difference and diversity. Consequently, for a future characterised by justice, peace and understanding it is imperative that early childhood educators take responsibility in guiding children towards a positive attitude regarding difference and diversity, and upholding equity, justice and human dignity. However, teachers may struggle to find suitable pedagogical strategies that work to support and promote teaching for social justice and inclusion. This article highlights a doctoral study conducted in Australia that built upon successes in the US and UK that incorporated the use of children’s literature in prior-to-school settings. This article will outline the strategies that were successfully implemented by teachers involved in this collaborative study using children’s literature to promote and support teaching for social justice and inclusion. It is anticipated that teaching for social justice in the early years will form a foundation that will guide learners towards a lifelong concern for the valuing of difference, diversity, human dignity and justice.Hawkins, K 2014, '