In a recent Sesame Street video, cuddly monster Elmo picks up an autumn leaf and remarks about its color to a pair of more human-like Muppets who are sitting nearby on a park bench.
“This leaf is red, like Elmo’s fur!” he says.
Then Elmo reaches for another leaf.
“This leaf is brown, like Russ’s skin!” he says, referencing the Muppet child.
The adult Muppet tells Elmo that he’s made a good observation.
And then Elmo asks a question: Why, he wonders, does Russ have brown skin?
As parents and teachers know, questions like Elmo’s are quite common among very little kids. So how are preschool teachers preparing to answer those questions in ways that help children develop positive social identities, encourage their self-expression and help them feel comfortable and safe? And how are teachers themselves being supported in that work?
Those are questions we’re asking on this episode of the EdSurge Podcast, thanks to the insight of Dr. Calvin Moore, Jr., CEO of the Council for Professional Recognition, which administers the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program, the most widely-used credential in early childhood education.