But their traditional attire has now come in for criticism from equality experts who claim it could send a negative message to toddlers in nursery and lead to racism.
Instead, teachers should censor the toy box and replace the pointy black hat with a pink one, while dressing fairies, generally resplendent in pale pastels, in darker shades.
This is insane. Anyway, seeing as witches are generally seen as female isn’t a pink witches’ hat stereotyping girls?
Another staple of the classroom – white paper – has also been questioned by Anne O’Connor, an early years consultant who advises local authorities on equality and diversity.
Children should be provided with paper other than white to drawn on and paints and crayons should come in “the full range of flesh tones”, reflecting the diversity of the human race, according to the former teacher.
“Former teacher…” Tells you all you need to know.
Finally, staff should be prepared to be economical with the truth when asked by pupils what their favourite colour is and, in the interests of good race relations, answer “black” or “brown”.
What’s wrong with blue? Nobody is blue. Well nobody long for this world is. And does anyone cite brown as a favourite colour.
The measures, outlined in a series of guides in Nursery World magazine, are aimed at avoiding racial bias in toddlers as young as two.
Oh, do fuck off.
According to the guides, very young children may begin to express negative and discriminatory views about skin colour and appearance that nursery staff must help them “unlearn”.
If children develop positive associations with dark colours, the greater the likelihood that the attitude will be generalised to people, it says.
Is there any evidence for that?
“People who are feeling defensive can say ‘well there’s nothing wrong with white paper’, but in reality there could be if you don’t see yourself reflected in the things around you. “As an early years teacher, the minute you start thinking, ‘well actually, if I give everyone green paper, what happens’, you have a teaching potential.
Well, let’s imagine I’m in Botswana and I need a ream of paper. What colour is most commonly available from the local stationary shop? The one probably run and owned by black people. There is an issue with paper colour at schools mind but that is due to dyslexia. Aparently dyslexic kids can struggle to read stuff in black and white.
“People might criticise this as political correctness gone mad. But it is because of political correctness we have moved on enormously. If you think that we now take it for granted that our buildings and public highways are adapted so people in wheelchairs and with pushchairs can move around. Years ago if you were in a wheelchair, then tough luck. We have completely moved and we wouldn’t have done that without the equality movement.”
This is an epic conflation. It is quite bizarre. It’s verging on sinister to compare non-whites to the disabled.
However, recent research by Professor Lord Winston provides evidence that children as young as four can hold racist views. In an experiment carried out for the BBC’s Child of our Time series, children were presented with a series of images of faces of men, women, boys or girls. Only one of the faces in each sequence was white.
Children were asked to pick out the face of the person they wanted as their friend and the person they thought would be most likely to get in to trouble.
Almost all white children in the survey associated positive qualities exclusively with photographs of white children or adults. More than half of the black children made the same associations.
In contrast, people with darker faces were viewed as troublemakers.
Lord Winston is a gynaecologist. Oh, he thinks he’s the second-coming of Albert Einstein (check the ‘tash and the hair) but he isn’t. His field is IVF and I really have no idea what that proves if anything. I suspect if it proves anything it proves kids have a tendency to like people who look like them. Those white kids might not have met too many black or Asian folk. They will. The conceptual leap as to colours in general (paper, witches hats etc) to people is a Hell of a lurch. I’m prepared to accept 4 year olds can be racist but I don’t believe in the cure suggested here. It’s nonsensical silliness.
Actually let’s stick with the gynaecology angle. A mate of mine at Nottingham University wound-up doing a course of “feminist criticism”. This is what he “learned”. Writing on a word-processor is female and writing with a pen or pencil is masculine because you see incubating your work, nurturing it on the hard-disk is like pregnancy and a pen or pencil vaguely (very vaguely) resembles a penis and shares the first three letters with “penis”. Thank God I was good at maths and could hack physics because I would have walked. It is this level of insanity. Now I don’t know as much about wombs as Lord Winston but I do know a little and I certainly know hard drives. I can certainly see no circumstances where the two things can be interchanged without dire consequences resulting.