"It's Not Just About Black and White, Miss" Children's Awareness of Race

Author(s) Sally Elton-Chalcraft
Publisher Trentham Books
Published 2009
Pages 164
Price £16.99
ISBN 9781858564371
Reviewed by Mrs Sandra Shaffi
Stockport College
Review published 25 February 2010

On reading this book, I found myself totally absorbed in the subject of children’s perceptions of race. This unique look into the values and belief systems of the children was fascinating.  The children speak openly about race and their understanding of it in their world, they offer honest views which reflect their cultural differences and value base.

The book is structured as a child-led research project and valuably takes account of the child’s voice in putting forward ideas. The enthusiasm and honesty behind their views is refreshing and serves to aid the educators in their understanding of the needs of the children and subsequent planning for inclusive practice.

The structure of the book enables the reader to dip into different sections and is split into chapters to lead the reader through the process. The use of ethical considerations and methodology supports the research, enabling the researcher to make informed judgements of the data thereby leading to a clear analysis.

The nature of the research process has enabled the author to observe school life in addition to reflecting on the views, values and principles shown by the staff in the setting. This has at times displayed contrasting perceptions from the children thereby serving to add rigour to the discussions.

The final chapter is particularly helpful to educators in its discussion of the implication on practice and makes some interesting points in relation to encouraging pride in each child’s culture and starting early to eradicate racism.

This is a very enjoyable book which would be a useful resource for teachers and professionals who have a keen interest in equality and inclusion.