The Missouri Reader Vol. 43, Issue 2 - Page 35


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In my perspective, multicultural education should not focus only on minorities. All students are equally important, although different ...

In the picture you can see 10 little hands: 5 White American, 2 Korean, 2 Filipino, and 1 Chinese.

What Does Your Reading Philosophy Say About You?

Peg Grafwallner

Teri Pardue is a graduate student at Missouri State University where she finishing her Master’s degree in Early Childhood and Family Development. She is currently living in the Philippines with her husband and four children. In 2015, she opened an international preschool where she serves as the lead teacher.


challenges” (Derman-Sparks& Ramsey, 2011, p. 27). Finding literature that celebrates what makes each of us unique and gives vocabulary to students for describing themselves is invaluable. Demographers tell us that the future of American society will look more and more like my classroom: more black, brown, tan, and all the colors in between. In this context of change, it can be tempting either to try and ignore skin color altogether or to try and stereotype our neighbors based on their “wrapping paper.” That’s why there is more need now than ever before for literature that will give children the tools to see and describe genuine beauty in each other’s skin. As educators, we should be looking to fill our classrooms with books that celebrate all shades of skin, and we should find ways to incorporate this literature into our curriculum so that we can help raise a generation that understands where our skin color comes from and what makes it beautiful and unique


Adoff, A. (2002). black is brown is tan. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Derman-Sparks, L., LeeKeenan, D., & Nimmo, J. (2015). Leading anti-bias early childhood programs: A guide for change. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Derman-Sparks, L. & Ramsey, P. (2011). What if all the kids are white? Anti-bias multicultural education with young children and families. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Hamanaka, Sheila. 1994. All the colors of the earth. New York, NY: Harper Collins.

Katz, K. (1999). The colors of us. New York, NY: Henry Holt and Company.

Rotner, S. & Kelly, S. M. (2009). Shades of people. New York, NY: Holiday House