Hand to Hand: Teaching Tolerance and Social Justice One Child at a Time (Essay) - Childhood Education

Hand to Hand: Teaching Tolerance and Social Justice One Child at a Time (Essay)

By Childhood Education

  • Release Date: 2012-01-01
  • Genre: Education
Hand to Hand: Teaching Tolerance and Social Justice One Child at a Time (Essay) book review score

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Hand to Hand: Teaching Tolerance and Social Justice One Child at a Time (Essay) Childhood Education Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED] Many educators (Cohen, 2006, 2007; Jones, 2004; Stevens & Charles, 2005) believe that teaching tolerance is a pedagogical imperative, while others relegate children's moral development to the purview of parents. Still others (Barrier-Ferreira, 2008; Jones, 2004; Mustakova-Poussardt, 2004; Paley and the Teaching Tolerance Project, 1998) go beyond tolerance to promote instruction in social justice. Tolerance connotes patience, forbearance, and impartiality, as well as open-mindedness. In early childhood, possessing tolerance would refer to children's burgeoning awareness of themselves in relation to others, and the capability to accept appearance and behavior different from one's own. But is teaching tolerance, additionally considered the ability to care and have empathy for others, enough? Perhaps it is more appropriate to teach preschool children tolerance in conjunction with social justice, the principles and habits of mind that guide individuals to actively treat others with fairness, respect, and responsibility ("Social justice," n.d.). Social justice for preschool children would indicate an ability to treat others with fairness, even if that means putting the needs of others above one's own. It may be that teaching tolerance for very young children essentially sets the stage for a more developed understanding of tolerance and justice to grow as children move on to elementary school and beyond.

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