Teachers College Press

What If All the Kids Are White? Anti-Bias Multicultural Education with Young Children and Families

Louise Derman-Sparks and Patricia Ramsey
Early Childhood Education
Pub Date: March 2006, 208 pages

Paperback: $25.95, ISBN: 0807746770
Cloth: $62, ISBN: 0807746789
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“Derman-Sparks and Ramsey offer an ‘alternative vision’ for white identity that breaks the mold….The current status of our anti-bias work demands we read [this book] and use it well” — From the Foreword by Carol Brunson Day

“A dynamic blend of child development theory, social history, and the best pedagogical practice from two distinguished social justice educators - every teacher of young children should read it!” — Beverly Daniel Tatum, President, Spelman College

“An accessible, practical, and essential tool for every teacher of young white children. I especially appreciated the concrete suggestions and abundance of resources from two of early childhood education’s most experienced teachers.”—Paul Kivel, educator and author of Uprooting Racism and I Can Make My World a Safer Place

In this compelling volume, distinguished educators tackle a frequently asked question about multicultural education: How do I teach about racial and cultural diversity if all my students are white? The authors propose seven learning themes to help young white children resist messages of racism and build identity and skills for thriving in a multicultural country and world. The text includes strategies, resources, and classroom examples for implementing the learning themes in early childhood settings.

Taking multicultural education to a new level, this practical guide:

  • Places the development of white children’s racial identity in the context of the historical construction of “whiteness” and racism in America.
  • Suggests strategies for nurturing a new white identity as the starting place for anti-bias/multicultural work with children.
  • Offers ways to expand children’s interests and concerns beyond their immediate world to instill a sense of caring and connection toward people different from them and to encourage seeing themselves as agents of change.
  • Includes activities for families and staff, reflection questions, a review of white anti-racism activists, lists of suggested children’s books, and organizational and website resources.

Louise Derman-Sparks is a long-time faculty member at Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena, California and the co-author of Teaching/Learning Anti-Racism. Patricia G. Ramsey is Professor of Psychology and Education and Director of Gorse Child Study Center at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts and author of Teaching and Learning in a Diverse World.

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