Terrorism and Early Childhood: Our Role on the Slippery Slope of Racism

Margaret Sims


In this paper I argue that early childhood professionals have a key role in providing learning opportunities that aim to prevent children placing their feet on the beginning of the slippery slope of racism. At the bottom of this slippery slope of racism, as we have seen in recent world events, are acts of extremist terrorism. This responsibility is increasingly important given that in many countries political rhetoric is leaning further towards far right extremism accompanied by forms of nationalism where those who are different (for example Muslims and refugee groups) are being portrayed as threatening standards of living of citizens in their host countries. As professionals we have a responsibility to identify early (often, on the surface, benign) acts, reflect on the value position underpinning such acts, and provide opportunities for children to learn to value and respect the differences they see every day in the people around them. In this paper I provide suggestions as to the kinds of behaviours (and the value positions underpinning them) that we see in young children and the ways we might address these.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/jecs.v3n2p193


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