Category Archives: Inequality

Unintentional Stereotyping?

I teach a reading class everyday with my seven-year-old students, and we’re currently reading the story, Fireflies for Nathan, in the Houghton-Mifflin Wonders 1-5 reading book. It’s an American publishing company and for the most part I like their curriculum. In our story, we read about this young six-year-old boy who visits his grandparents. The boy and his grandparents are African-American, which normally doesn’t matter, but there is a page in the story where the phrasing seems to unintentionally perpetuate a certain stereotype. I know they’re talking about fireflies and how they can quickly leave if you’re not careful… but the editors could have suggested a better turn of phrase. What do you think?



My coworkers and I got a bit of humor out if the unintentional wording, not the stereotyping. We wondered if any of the students would catch it… they didn’t (lucky for them). This makes me want to look closer at the curriculum that’s being published for education and how I can use the wording or situations to discuss other societal issues if applicable.


Filed under English, ESL, Failure, Inequality, Kids, Korea Poly School, Literature, Pictures, Quotes, Reading, South Korea, Teaching, The United States