Modelling Critical Consciousness in Early Childhood
“Modelling Critical Consciousness in Early Childhood” was first published online in mid 2019.
Within these pages, a number of experts and authors discuss how we might begin, even in early childhood (early childhood defined here as birth through to the end of Kindergarten.), to raise critically conscious children.
Critical Consciousness is defined as “…the ability to recognize and analyze systems of inequality and the commitment to take action against these systems.” (El-Amin etc., 2017) I personally first came across this concept when Ashley May, an educator, author and mother I deeply admire, brought it to my attention as we explored this topic together and I am grateful to her for pointing me in this direction.
It was Paolo Friere, a Brazilian educator, who coined the term in the early 1970s, recognizing that social inequalities are maintained as long as there is a lack of “social awareness of the internalization of the oppressor by the oppressed”. He advocated for the importance of social reflection as well as action. (Bach, 2012)
The subjects within these pages can be new and uncomfortable to navigate and yet it is essential we speak openly and that we research and understand the issues and their implications so that we can all grow in a way that activates true human equality within the spaces we inhabit.
My hope is that the information contained here acts as a spark that ignites a lifelong striving in each reader. The concepts presented here are not meant to be simply intellectually absorbed but to inspire real action within our homes and communities. I hold myself fully accountable to this work too.
My last request is that wherever you go from here in order to further build on your critical consciousness toolkit that you, wherever possible, pay the people whose work you draw inspiration and information from.
Introduction from Meagan Rose Wilson
Worksheets to Guide you through the series “Kids and Race” contributed by the authors and creators of @theconsciouskid
Supporting Gender Diversity by Willow Westwood @brooklynmorninggarden
The Art of Critically Conscious Parenting: Being With, Bearing Witness and Moving Together by Ashley May @mayashleyj
Interview and Introduction to Intersectionality from Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi @intersectionallies
El-Amin, A., Seider, S., Graves D., Tamerat J., Clark S., Soutter, M., Johannsen, J. & Malhotra, M. (2017). “Critical consciousness: A key to student achievement.” Phi Delta Kappa International: Professional Journal for Educators. Retrieved August 2019 from https://www.kappanonline.org/critical-consciousness-key-student-achievement/
Bach Jr., J. (2012) “Waldorf pedagogy as education for freedom: reflections from a possible dialogue between Paulo Freire and Rudolf Steiner.” (read via Google Translate). Retrieved September 2019 from https://acervodigital.ufpr.br/bitstream/ handle/1884/32322/R%20-%20T%20-%20JONAS%20BACH%20JUNIOR.pdf? sequence=1&isAllowed=y