Depending on public-health guidelines related to COVID-19, plans for a residential offering are subject to change.

Decades of research have demonstrated how young children are cognitively primed for multilingualism and develop attitudes about race and culture that are long-lasting, yet too frequently instruction for young children tends to reinforce monolingualism and monoculturalism.  Humanistic interventions that attend to multifaceted representations of identity and language use significantly impact student outcomes and sense of self. This summer institute seeks to intervene at this intersection of language, identity and culture and enrich early elementary curricula by investigating how the picture book can be utilized at the center of a variety of inclusive pedagogies to enhance the development of second language learning, social belonging, identity formation, and community-making.

Our interaction with the picturebook as a site for engagement with identity and multilingualism will begin with a week of virtual learning, where we will provide time for teachers to engage in reflective practice concerning their own cultural and linguistic competencies, and key readings in the psychology of how children see race and acquire languages. We will begin to think about bi-cultural/ multilingual identities in the children’s book in both transnational and US contexts, through presentations by local and international authors and translators. Our second week will be structured around hands-on learning opportunities with picturebooks from the Diverse Book Finder in the Bates College library, with children’s book illustrations and other art objects in the Bates and Bowdoin Museums, including a full day intensive with the collection of Black American artist Ashley Bryan, well as time for structured learning around curating and using a variety of picturebooks in home classrooms.

Diverse BookFinderMultilingual Mainers