Tuesday, 19 February 2013

World Book Day - A Teacher's Dilemma

World Book Day is coming up on March 7th. I like World Book Day and I love books.

In the run-up to World Book Day few years ago, I received a phone call from a colleague. He asked me for suggestions for Black male characters from children's books as he wanted to dress as one. We came up with a depressingly short list and got to talking about why this might be, whether it was important and what we could do about it.

Together with another colleague of mine, we created the resource below. It is grounded in a real-life situation but raises some philosophical issues. I have used it with teachers, teacher-educators and with Year 6 pupils. People have responded to it in a range of ways, some very positive, some quite hostile. Either way, it has generated some interesting discussion.

The point of it is not merely to suggest a Black character from children's literature - but please feel free to do so - but rather to identify and discuss the issues that this seemingly mundane e-mail (based as it is on a real-life phone call) raises.