“What’s love got to do?": Enacting the beloved community through early childhood education

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter

1 Scopus citations


This chapter explores what it would mean to put “love” at the center of a social justice curriculum in early childhood education and some of the obstacles to that vision. Specifically, the author explores the ways that fears about (inappropriate) physical touch both between students and between teachers and students directly challenge educators- willingness to discuss love as an organizing principle in early childhood settings. Using Martin Luther King’s framework of developing the “Beloved Community,” classroom-based descriptions are provided of ways in which the Beloved Community could be actualized in early childhood education through: (1) honoring children’s bodies as a form of love; (2) touching one another thoughtfully as a form of love; (3) inclusion as a form of love; and (4) social-justice oriented social skills as a form of love. The author argues that attention to structuring early childhood settings that focus on the four manifestations of love described above can help children grow to become citizens who embrace and enact diversity, justice and inclusion in their own lives fight for equality in all they do.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEducating for Social Justice in Early Childhood
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781000651034
ISBN (Print)9780367246983
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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