Identity is one of the first themes we’ll be tackling in our upcoming posts for the new year. It’s an important topic that connects to so much of what we do in education, but it’s not always an easy one to discuss or teach about. In our posts we hope to both provide resources to help bridge this topic in the classroom, and generate dialogue on how you as educators are already talking and teaching about this topic in your classrooms. It’s certainly a theme that remains relevant throughout the year, but it was always one that I liked to address from the very beginning of the school year. It easily lends itself to other topics common to August and September lessons, such as how to be yourself, acceptance, and community. It also provides a nice way to lead in to Hispanic Heritage Month (another theme we’ll be writing about soon) which allows for the discussion of identity to continue in a more specific context.
For today’s post, I’d like to call your attention to the School Library Journal’s recently-released “The Diversity Issue” 2014. If we’re going to talk about identity in the classroom, we have to address the issues around diversity, especially how diversity is presented in the literature we use in the classroom. The entire issue is available for free online. With sixteen different articles, this issue contains a wealth of information applicable to everyone in education. Below I’ve highlighted just a few of the articles, but I hope you’ll check out the issue in its entirety. We’d love to hear your thoughts, so please share in the comment section! Remember our first giveaway runs through tomorrow, August 28th, everyone who comments is entered in the giveaway!
- Children’s Books. Still an All-White World?
Nancy Larrick’s landmark 1965 study on race
and children’s books was supposed to have been
a wake-up call. Not much has changed.
- Culturally Diverse Books Selected by SLJ’s Review Editors
Playing upon and expanding Rudine Sims Bishop’s framework for understanding multicultural literature for children, the SLJ Reviews Editors select their favorite recent titles.
- The Multiracial Population Is Growing, But Kid Lit Isn’t Keeping Up
Monica Brown, author of the “Marisol McDonald” series, writes about how as a person of mixed race lineage, she doesn’t fit under a neat label. Her situation is shared by the growing multiracial population in the U.S., yet children’s books don’t reflect the changing demographic.
- SisOps: Girl-friendly technology initiatives challenge a boys-only culture
New girl-friendly technology initiatives are challenging tech’s boys-only culture.
- A School Librarian Talks to Students about ‘Whitewashing’ Book Covers
Bank Street School librarian Allie Bruce found herself facing a complicated question from a sixth grader about the lack of minorities on YA book covers, starting with Julia Alvarez’s Return to Sender. The question led Bruce to a year-long lesson on diversity in children’s literature with a sixth grade class and some surprising results.
- An Expanded Cultural Diversity Booklist: SLJ Readers Respond
In response to the passionate and engaging conversation around the recent list of culturally diverse books, SLJ‘s review editors asked readers and experts in the field to select titles for inclusion in this expanded list. Add your own favorite titles in the comments section.
- How Cross-Racial Picture Books Build Acceptance
A study showed that children who looked at picture books portraying kids from different races had more interest in playing across difference.
Image: Illustration by Christopher Meyers. Reprinted from SLJ Diversity Issue | Children’s Books. Still an All-White World?