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Toward inclusive understandings of marriage in an early childhood classroom: Negotiating (un)readiness, community, and vulnerability through a critical reading of King and King


This collaborative classroom research study examines the ways in which preschoolers made sense of same-sex marriage through a critical reading of the book King and King by De Haan and Nijland. Acknowledging the importance of community in doing critical and political work, this article details the ways in which a preschool teacher and a group of four-year-olds collectively problematized and expanded narrow and exclusive definitions of marriage. Through their words and actions, these preschoolers invite readers to reconsider the centrality of lesbian and gay issues in the early childhood curriculum. Building on work that posits that lesbian and gay issues are an elementary school issue, this article proposes that they are an early childhood issue as well. Weaving reflection and description and theorizing from practice, this article seeks to shed light on the power and possibility of engaging in work that leads to inclusive understandings of marriage with young children in early childhood classrooms. Why? Because, as a four-year-old stated, 'That's fair and that's how it works.' (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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