Campus Reform | UC-Riverside creates anti-racism guide for...elementary schoolers?

UC-Riverside creates anti-racism guide for...elementary schoolers?

The guide defines racism as “prejudice that is held by a person with social and institutional power and privilege.”

UC Riverside’s education department created a guide to help teachers of young students teach about racism.

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A University of California Riverside-sponsored group created “Addressing Race and Racism in the Early School Years,” an anti-racism guide for elementary school teachers.

Researchers with a UC-Riverside group called Smooth Sailing started the university-sponsored project after inspiration from the Black Lives Matter protests. According to fourth-year psychology doctoral student Ainsley Losh, who led the project, Smooth Sailing wanted to create resources for “those really early school years” so that teachers could have “conversations about race, racism, and differences."

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Rather than teachers adopting a “color-blind mentality,” Losh wants teachers to bring up the topic of race in the classroom.

The project defines racism as “prejudice that is held by a person with social and institutional power and privilege.” Secondarily, racism “operates to maintain a system of advantage based on skin color.”

The intended audience for the study is “elementary educators of all racial backgrounds and identities who teach students of all backgrounds and identities.”

“Whether you are an Educator of Color or a White educator approaching this guide from an ally, accomplice, or advocate perspective, we hope that you will find this guide beneficial and helpful in providing tools and strategies to promote an anti-racist, inclusive classroom community,” says the guide.

The guide even states that "no child is too young" to discuss the issue.

"No child is too young to discuss race. Young children (even infants!) notice differences among people, such as hair color, eye color, or skin color," the guide states.

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The guide states that “race and racism are difficult topics for elementary teachers to discuss with their students, as well as with their parents,” because of a “lack of understanding of the social construct of race and systemic racism.”

Furthermore, the guide defines “microaggressions” and “implicit bias," describing students with learning disabilities as “neurodiverse.”

Campus Reform reached out to UC-Riverside for comment and will update this article accordingly.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft