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Early Childhood Multicultural Education

Early childhood multicultural education is a critical element of educational endeavors to respond to diversity and inequities. Young children (ages 3–8) are rapidly learning about the world and beginning to form beliefs about individuals, groups, and relationships. Although many people believe that young children do not “see” race and are innocent of any prejudice, research studies dating from the seminal work of Kenneth Clark and Mamie Phipps Clark in the late 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s have shown that young children are aware of race and often express and enact prejudicial beliefs in their comments and choices of playmates and materials. Likewise, many researchers have noted that, to varying degrees, young children make assumptions about people based on race, economic class, cultural practices, gender, and abilities ...

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