Interested in getting more involved with the Forum?

We’re looking for folks to volunteer their time and expertise for upcoming Real World Wednesdays.

What is Real World Wednesday?

Every Wednesday, we like to feature a member of the Forum on our Facebook page, inviting them to share with us some of their knowledge and experiences from the field.  These posts are designed to highlight some of the real world scenarios that early childhood caregivers and educators face, helping us start important conversations about our practice!

What we learn from these conversations is then posted to our Blog, allowing us to continually build our body of collective wisdom.

For example, our first Real World Wednesday featured Jamie Pearson, a doctoral student at the University of Illinois who studies the quality and quantity of services available for families of color who have children with autism.  We asked her, “Jamie from your real world research and experiences, can you share 3 things we should know about autism services for families of color?”  Her thoughtful response can be found here.

What would I need to do?

  • Join the conversation by “liking” our Facebook page
  • Tell us a little about yourself.  Let us know what you do, where you do it, and what you’d like to share!
  • Let us know an upcoming Wednesday that you could be available to respond to questions from members of the Forum.

How do I sign up?

If you’re interested, send us a message on Facebook or email us at


Join our virtual book club!

Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change

Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for ChangeLike the lives of young children and their families, anti-bias education must extend beyond the four walls of the early childhood classroom. Directors, managers, principals, coaches and administrators all have critical roles to play in building diverse and equitable early care and education settings. In their new book, Leading Anti-Bias Early Childhood Programs: A Guide for Change, Louise Derman-Sparks, Debble LeeKeenan and Jonh Nimmo invite us to grapple with the question: How can early childhood leaders facilitate anti-bias work at the program level?NAEYC’s Diversity & Equity Education for Adults (DEEA) Interest Forum would like to invite you to our virtual book club as we embark on an informal, 10-week exploration of this question together. Join the discussion on Facebook!


Open discussion will begin each week on Monday with a new chapter of the book and will continue throughout the scheduled week. Over the course of each week, the club’s facilitators will moderate the discussion, posting summaries of the chapter and posing open-ended questions to stimulate discussion. Participants are welcome to post their reactions, thoughts, questions or other topics of discussion. In short:

  • All levels of engagement are welcome!
  • Productive, respectful dissent is appropriate
  • Ask questions, post responses, share quotes to participate in discussion
  • Facilitators will post 1-2 questions each session, but other forum members are welcome to post as well.


June 22  Chapter 1 Pursuing the Anti-Bias Vision: The Conceptual Framework
June 29  Chapter 2 Best Practices of Early Childhood Program Leaders: The Foundation of Anti- Bias Leadership
July 6  Chapter 3 Reading the Program and Preparing for Anti-Bias Change
July 13  Chapter 4 Fostering Reflective Anti-Bias Educators
July 20  Chapter 5 Engaging Families and Growing Anti-Bias Partnerships
July 27  Chapter 6 Deepening and Sustaining Anti-Bias Awareness, Knowledge and Skills
August 3  Chapter 7 Managing and Negotiating Disequilibrium and Conflict
August 10  Chapter 8 Documenting the Shift Toward Anti-Bias Change
August 17  Chapter 9 Anti-Bias Education in a Climate of Required Standards and Assessments
August 24  Chapter 10 Sustaining the Anti-Bias Vision: Reflections

Celebrating LGBT Pride Month in the Classroom

On June 17th, Ruben Brosbe–a third grade teacher in New York City–shared with us his reflections on celebrating LGBT Pride Month in the classroom.  You can check out the piece he wrote for the Educators’ Room here!

In addition, he added,

“I think one major challenge is the assumption that parents won’t support this kind of teaching. I teach in a community that is predominantly Black and Latino and it is important to challenge misconceptions that these families are more homophobic or transphobic than White, middle-class families. I also think that taking the time to find resources and then vet them for quality is another challenge, although one that is rewarding in the end.”

We asked him to share with us some tips on vetting resources for quality and he replied,

One way to start “vetting” is by picking books that already come recommended. There’s a few book lists included in my blog post. After that I make sure to read any book ahead of time and make sure I feel comfortable with the messages – explicit and implicit – that it sends. For example I found two books about kids with two dads and two moms written in the form of question and answer. Although I thought the stories were cute, I felt uncomfortable with the idea that kids might feel like they have to answer every question they get about their families. That said, these books could also be read aloud and discussed critically. You don’t have to throw out books, even if they’re problematic, as long as you think about how to address those problems.

NAEYC has also provided some additional suggestions for children’s books that include lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) families which can be found here.

Meeting the Needs of Families of Color who have Children with Autism

On June 10th, 2015, Jamie Pearson–a doctoral student at the University of Illinois –shared 3 things we should know about autism services for families of color on our Facebook page.  Here’s what she said:

1. African American (and Latino) children are diagnosed later (typically after age 3), and take longer to receive diagnoses of ASD than European American children, even across socioeconomic backgrounds.

2. In some cases, African American children who present persistent challenging behaviors are diagnosed with emotional and behavioral disorders (e.g., ODD), when in fact, they have ASD.

3. Two common recommendations from African American mothers: (a) assign families a liaison who can help them navigate the service system after obtaining initial diagnoses, and (b) provide professional development for educators and healthcare providers that encourages increased responsiveness to parent voice and parent concerns in families of color.

Interested in learning more? Contact Jamie!