Reading Beyond the Book: Examining a Critical Social Educator’s Race & Equity Read Aloud in an Early Childhood Classroom


  • Cassie J Brownell Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at University of Toronto
  • Anam Rashid Critical Development Studies at University of Toronto Scarborough


early childhood education, social studies, elementary education, critical literacy, qualitative research


In this paper, the authors specifically consider what it means to engage as a critical white social educator of young, racially diverse children. They document how one third-grade teacher–Ms. Honey, a thirty-something white woman–used diverse books as a springboard to cultivate a more critical curriculum. The authors demonstrate how, as the focal teacher centered on pressing and historical social issues–including systemic racism –in her curriculum, classroom, and community, she also re-learned (hi)stories herself. In the findings, the authors demonstrate how Ms. Honey carefully led children through a read-aloud within an integrated social studies and literacy unit. The authors frame Ms. Honey’s actions as a critical social educator and, in doing so, they highlight the messy, seemingly imperfect work required to engage as a critical social educator.

Author Biography

Anam Rashid, Critical Development Studies at University of Toronto Scarborough

No email provided. Please contact primary author, Cassie Brownell at