At the nearest sesame street video, The cute monster Elmo picked up an autumn leaf and talked about its color to a pair of puppets sitting on a nearby park bench that looked more like humans.
“This leaf is red, like Elmo’s fur!” he said.
Then Elmo reached for another leaf.
“This leaf is brown, just like Lars’s skin!” he said, referring to the puppet child.
The adult puppet tells Elmo that he observes well.
Then Elmo asked a question: Why, he wanted to know, is Russ skin brown?
Parents and teachers know that problems like Elmo are common in very young children. So, how do preschool teachers prepare to answer these questions in a way that helps children develop a positive social identity, encourages their self-expression, and helps them feel comfortable and safe? How can teachers themselves be supported in this work?
These are the questions we asked in this episode of the EdSurge Podcast, thanks to the insights of Dr. Calvin Moore Jr., CEO of the Professional Accreditation Council, which manages the National Certification Program for Child Development Assistants, which is the most extensive-in early childhood education Use certificates in.