Disability equity education: confronting ableist bias in early childhood

Kathy Cologon, Zinnia Mevawalla, Amanda Niland, Virginia Artinian, Aliza Salvador, Katie Wright

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


No matter what we might prefer to think, children do notice 'difference'. In fact, they are often attuned to identifying differences and similarities. The question to ask ourselves as adults is why we pretend that children don’t notice difference, or think noticing difference is a problem? What messages do our responses to the ways in which children do notice difference send and what is the impact of this? Human diversity is a wonderful reality and when children notice differences between people this doesn’t mean children think these differences are negative. If we don’t create positive spaces for discussing and addressing human diversity with young children, however, we create 'taboos' around the human differences that children might notice. Thus, we begin to accidentally enculturate children into the idea that some differences are 'bad', 'wrong', or 'unnatural'.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Anti-bias Approach in Early Childhood
EditorsRed Ruby Scarlet
Place of PublicationSydney, Australia
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2020


  • disability
  • equality
  • early years education
  • bias

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