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That's Not Fair!: A Teacher's Guide to Activism with Young Children [Paperback]

Fran Davidson , Ann Pelo
1.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Nov. 1 2002
Children have a natural sense of what’s fair and what’s not—whether it’s not sharing toys, seeing litter in their favorite park, or asking questions about a homeless person they see on the street. In That’s Not Fair!, teachers will learn to use children’s sense of fairness to help develop the belief that they can change the world and make it a better place to live.

The attributes that are the foundation of an anti-bias curriculum are also what children need to learn for survival and emotional health in their roles as activists. Accepting differences, collaborating with others, paying attention to other people’s feelings, ideas and needs, speaking out about fairness and unfairness, and taking responsibility for solving problems will help children recognize the injustices they see in life, and use this recognition as a chance to act. Becoming positive changemakers is a key to their development.

Offering what they call “guidelines rather than recipes,” authors Davidson and Pelo designed That’s Not Fair! to instill teachers with the ability to reflect on children’s lives and create an anti-bias curriculum directly linked to their experiences. Real-life stories of children’s experiences as activists, coupled with first-person accounts of teachers’ experiences and reflections help create a complete guide to childhood activism. Includes original songs for children and a resource list for both adults and children.


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From the Inside Flap

“If we teach children to recognize injustice, then we must also teach them that people can create positive change by working together...” – Louise Derman-Sparks and the Anti-Bias Curriculum Task Force from Chapter 1 of That’s Not Fair!

About the Author

Fran Davidson and Ann Pelo have a combined 35 years of experience working with young children. Ann Pelo teaches 3-5 year-olds at Hilltop Children’s Center in Seattle, WA, and she is an instructor at the Seattle Institute for Early Childhood Development. She earned her master’s degree in Child Development and Family Studies from Purdue University. Fran Davidson is a teacher and trainer in the Seattle area. She works as an instructor in the Child & Family Studies Program at Seattle Central Community College and as adjunct faculty at Pacific Oaks College. She is also a trainer at the Emerald City Child Care Center. That’s Not Fair! is their first book.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Way to Help Children Express Themselves April 24 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
That's Not Fair! is a wonderful book that promotes free-thinking and open-mindedness in young children. The authors describe methods and activities that will help teachers encourage children to speak their mind and learn more about the world around them. It can be something as asking questions about a homeless person or as big as writing down their worries about crime in their neighborhood.
The authors explain how it isn't our responsibility as adults to tell kids what to think, but rather to nurture and respect their thoughts and feelings on the issues in their lives that they have questions about. In fact, several anecdotes (like the Blue Angels story - which is used as an example of how one author wished she had involved parents in the project) serve as examples as to how the authors had to themselves learn how to help children stand up for what they think is right while not imposing their points-of-view upon them.
I encourage anyone who works with young children to take a long look at this wonderful resource. Activism doesn't have to be a dirty word. It doesn't have to be a political word. And it isn't reserved only for those of voting age.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Teachers should not be "activists". April 21 2003
Format:Paperback
The subtitle to this work is "A Teacher's Guide to Activism With Young Children". Activists do not belong in the classroom. I do not care _what_ they are advocating, the classroom is _not_ the place for social advocacy of any sort. Educate our children, do not indoctrinate them!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Pure peacenik propaganda April 16 2003
Format:Paperback
This book is simply a tool to indoctinate our youth into hating their own country. War is always bad, according to these authors, even when war is brought to you. The chapter on the Blue Angels is simply mind-boggling: a teacher's preschool class witnessed a Blue Angels demonstration, and she encourages them to write about the experience...albeit after she lectures them about war and killing. In essence, the children are taught to believe that the Blue Angels will bomb their own people!
Ridiculous material like this should be recognized for what it is: pure propaganda from the extreme left wing. As a teacher myself, I will certainly encourage my contemporaries to avoid this book.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to rate this book "0" stars! April 16 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I believe Michelle Malkin describes this book well when she writes;
"Ann Pelo details an activism project she initiated at a Seattle preschool after her students spotted a Blue Angels rehearsal overhead as they played in a local park. "Those are Navy airplanes," Pelo lectured the toddlers. "They're built for war, but right now, there is no war, so the pilots learn how to do fancy tricks in their planes." The kids returned to playing, but Pelo wouldn't let it rest. The next day she pushes the children to "communicate their feelings about the Blue Angels."
Pelo proudly describes her precociously politicized students' handiwork:
"They drew pictures of planes with Xs through them: 'This is a crossed-off bombing plane.' They drew bomb factories labeled: 'No.'
"Respect our words, Blue Angels. Respect kids' words. Don't kill people."
"If you blow up our city, we won't be happy about it. And our whole city will be destroyed. And if you blow up my favorite library, I won't be happy because there are some good books there that I haven't read yet."
Pelo reports that the children "poured out their strong feelings about the Blue Angels in their messages and seemed relieved and relaxed." But it's obvious this cathartic exercise was less for the children and more for the ax-grinding Pelo, who readily admits that she "didn't ask for parents' input about their letter-writing - she didn't genuinely want it. She felt passionately that they had done the right thing, and she wasn't interested in hearing otherwise."
So much for "community-building, deep thinking, and partnership." "
This is not what I expected from this book. Nor do I believe that toddler's should be brainwashed with left or right activisim. That is most definitely WRONG
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1.0 out of 5 stars Vapid anti-American poison for toddlers April 16 2003
Format:Paperback
The "Blue Angels Project" contained within this anti-establishment propaganda piece details how co-author Ann Pelo proudly misled preschool students into thinking that the U. S. Navy precision flight team, the Blue Angels, would bomb U. S. cities. She details what one child wrote: "If you blow up our city, we won't be happy about it. And our whole city will be destroyed. And if you blow up my favorite library, I won't be happy because there are some good books there that I haven't read yet." Ms. Pelo is welcome to her point of view, but her inflicting it upon young children in this manner in deplorable.
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