Engaging Students in Conversations about Race and Social Class

This is an important resource for teachers to use. In this article, it is discussed how early childhood  students often have trouble understanding that not everyone has the same resources provided to them. An example of this would be a kindergarten student playing in a dramatic play center that is set up as a restaurant. The student says, “This meal costs $200.00!” The teacher could then say, “I do not think my family could afford that meal. I think that might be too expensive”. This will get the student to think about how not everyone has equal amounts of money to spend on food. This will show children inequalities among individuals. It is important to teach children that regardless of these inequalities, students should never hold negative stereotypes against individuals who have only a limited amount of resources. When students are encouraged with meaningful activities and questions by the teacher regarding issues such as social class, children are often more open to express their views and discuss social justice issues among teachers and peers.

How Social Class Can Shape the Classroom

This is an important resource for teachers. It is discussed how parents from different social classes teach their children to cope with problems in the classroom in different ways. This is interesting because in this sense, social class is shaping the classroom environment. Middle-class parents encourage children to go to their teacher for help with anything that they may need. On the other hand, working-class parents teach their children to work out problems on their own because asking the teacher for help could be seen as disrespectful. This is important for teachers to know so teachers could stress to their class that the school environment should be seen as a safe place to learn and for students to question the world around them. It should always be stressed to students that they could come to the teacher with anything that they may need and that the teacher will always be there to help them as best as he or she could.