Teachers College Press 

Multicultural Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom
Approaches, Strategies and Tools, Preschool-2nd Grade

Mariana Souto-Manning
Pub Date: February 2013, 168 pages

Paperback: $29.95, ISBN: 0807754056
Cloth: $60.00, ISBN: 0807754064
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“A profound, rich, and rewarding meditation and deep conversation with teachers fully engaging young children with culture, social history, and learning for the future. This wide-ranging book escapes temporal, spatial, and disciplinary boundaries. Read it and reflect on how you can take it into your own life of learning.”
Shirley Brice Heath, Professor Emerita, Stanford University

“Early childhood educators will experience this unique book as a warm and detailed invitation to engage in multicultural education. The emphasis throughout is on “multi”—multiple pedagogical approaches, from culture circles to podcasts to story acting, and multiple cultural heritages embodied by active children and teachers. From a critical perspective and alongside creative teachers who aspire to be transformative, Souto-Manning links accessible theory with rich and thoughtful practices.”
Celia Genishi, Professor of Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

“Mariana Souto-Manning’s Multicultural Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom rightly places the use of deficit thinking and ineffective teaching strategies in the wasteland of classroom instruction. The author superbly documents and explains ways of teaching multiculturally that will richly benefit the learning of all students and make teaching become the fun that teachers dreamed it would be when they first said, ‘I want to teach because I love kids.’”
Carl A. Grant, Hoefs-Bascom Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Multicultural Teaching in the Early Childhood Classroom encourages teachers to honor, affirm, and challenge even our very youngest children to think inclusively, critically, and democratically—a necessity if we are to help develop knowledgeable, caring, and empowered learners.”
Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

This unique book features an array of approaches, strategies, and tools for teaching multiculturally in the early years. The teachers and classrooms portrayed here provide young children with rich educational experiences that empower them to understand themselves in relation to others. You will see how amazing teachers engage in culturally responsive teaching that fosters educational equity while also meeting state and national standards (such as the Common Core State Standards). This engaging book is sprinkled with questions for reflection and implementation that encourage educators to start planning ways of enhancing their own teaching, making their early childhood setting a more equitable learning space.

Book Features:

  • Multicultural education in action, including the everyday issues and tensions experienced by children and their families.
  • Powerful vignettes from diverse Head Start, preschool, kindergarten, 1st- and 2nd-grade classrooms throughout the United States.
  • Sections on “Getting Started” and “Considering Obstacles and Exploring Possibilities” in each chapter.
  • A list of multicultural children’s books and resources for further reading.


  1. Multicultural Tools and Strategies for Teaching Young Children
  2. Multicultural Education as Transformative Education
  3. Interviews: Encouraging Children to Ask Questions
  4. Critical Inquiry: Supporting Children’s Investigations
  5. Culture Circles with Multicultural Literature: Addressing Issues of Fairness
  6. Community Resources and Home Literacies: Developing Funds of Knowledge
  7. Technology: Media(ting) Multicultural Teaching
  8. Storytelling and Story Acting: Creating Spaces for Children to Negotiate Change
  9. Reflecting on the Possibilities of Teaching Multiculturally: What Next? What If?

Mariana Souto-Manning is Associate Professor of Education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching at Teachers College, Columbia University.

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