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Teaching Acceptance, Not Diversity

Teaching Acceptance, Not Diversity by A Teacher’s Reflections. This is a very interesting classroom conversation with an insightful lesson.

A Teacher's Reflections

image Garth Williams illustration, courtesy Harper & Row

One never knows when a powerful teaching moment presents itself.  In spite of all the lesson planning, the real times an educator can seize the opportunity to teach young children often come unexpectedly.  It happened during chapter reading.  We had just begun Little House on the Prairie where Ma, Pa, Laura, Mary, and baby Carrie moved from the big woods of Wisconsin to Kansas.  In the 1870’s Kansas was Indian territory.  Throughout the book there are times that Laura talks about Indians.  She knows that she and her family have moved into Indian territory, and she is curious.  She wants to see a papoose, yet she does not know anything about Indians.

The conversation went just like this:

“Jennie, are all the Indians dead today?”

“No, not at all.  There are many Indians today.  Just as many.  Probably more”.

(A long, silent pause.)

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