Feature Article

“Who was scared?”: Entering into Reflection Toward Change as Critical Social Educators

  • Mary Adu-Gyamfi (University of Missouri-Columbia)
  • Angie Zapata (University of Missouri-Columbia)
  • Sarah Reid (University of Missouri-Columbia)


This article discusses how an elementary teacher facilitated critical conversations about race and racial injustice with her first-grade students. Our collaborative teacher-researcher team closely examined the whole-class read-aloud events with two picturebooks focused on race and racial injustice. We point to the need for reflection toward change among critical social educators to enhance critical literature discussion among young children. In this article, we highlight how we encountered successes and missteps in our efforts to engage young children in critical literature discussion and how that process is deeply ingrained in the work of decentering whiteness. Whether experienced or novice, entering into a stance of reflection toward change is a powerful classroom practice for any critical social educator interested in moving toward an antiracist pedagogy.

Keywords: diverse picturebooks, critical literacy, social education, antiracist pedagogy, early childhood

How to Cite:

Adu-Gyamfi, M., Zapata, A. & Reid, S., (2021) ““Who was scared?”: Entering into Reflection Toward Change as Critical Social Educators”, The Critical Social Educator 1(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.31274/tcse.11531

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Published on
15 Apr 2021
Peer Reviewed