Hey friends and geeks
I came to a life of Baby Geek-ery via the wonderful world of early childhood education. And I’m pretty sure that I trained as an early childhood teacher during a Golden Age – the early nineties, when funding wasn’t that bad and when Te Whariki -the glorious curriculum of New Zealand ECE – was just being published.
We were taught about cool, mildly radical ideas like the Anti Bias Curriculum, which is a way of thinking, being, and organising life in an early childhood centre with a view to actively promoting social justice. Instead of ignoring the racist graffiti, teachers with an Anti Bias focus arm their children with paint and brushes and explain the need to obliterate the ugly sentiments.
I’ve been wondering where this gentle activism is, in light of the influx of princess play and the pinkification of girlhood. (re: pinkification … Enjoy this awesome blog by an at-home dad, Man Vs. Pink, which I learnt of here thanks to a geeky observer).
Meanwhile, I am as ever conscious of the way that children are marketed to and how marketers prey upon our young. And while the adults who care are signing petitions and lobbying corporates, I wonder who’s in the trenches, actively teaching mellow radicalism to young children. Children need to be taught the truth about the adults who will try to exploit them for money. Those selling things to our kids don’t make decisions about what or how to sell based around love and concern for our beautiful children, they make decisions that serve their shareholders.
Just this past fortnight, my very own Little Girl’s third birthday included more Disney product than I am comfortable with.
So I am wondering what has happened to the Anti-Bias idea, whether it stops at issues of race and ability or whether we need to be stirring up a bit of awareness around commercialisation, sexism, and sexualisation of childhood.
Tell the children the truth!