Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Talking with Children about Social Class

I have been thinking a lot about the ways that class shapes our experiences, how to deal with the consumption-drive of the holiday season, and how it all feels to kids. The growing income gap distorts consumption for us all (see Juliet Schor's book The Overspent American.) We want products that we can't afford, and both adults and children experience relative deprivation when compared to the media-normal.

Joan Arrowsmith, Lillian Polite and Elizabeth Saenger, all faculty members at an independent school in NY, have written an practical and provocative article about helping schools and children address class in an overt way.
The article contains references for children's books and tips for creating equitable spaces at school and in homes.

Middle and High School teachers can find resources for teaching kids about the income and wealth gap at Teaching Economics as if People Mattered -- resources are all free and they partner with United for a Fair Economy. "Ten Chairs" is my favorite.

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