A child asked:

Why did the baby cows get killed? 

meat market 1meat market 2The child had watched a TV news documentary a couple of days earlier showing cruelty to calves that had been sent off to be killed 

Would you expect an early childhood educator to answer the child's questions fully, partly, or divert the child's attention to talking about something else?


My ECE suggests:

  • A responsibility of the early childhood educator is to encourage thinking and to extend children's minds. Helping children to learn about his/ her world is part of this. 
  • Such questions can be taken up as opportunity to encourage the child to think about his/ her own thinking (developing his/ her meta-cognitive skills)
  • Early childhood is a suitable time to begin to foster a child's awareness that an action a person takes can affect the interests of others, including animals. Perspective-taking is an important skill to introduce and nurture in young children. Without an ability to see that one's own perspective is not always the only one and to be able to see other perspectives it is difficult as an adult to participate successfully in society. 


How would you like to see an early childhood teacher respond when a child wants to talk or learn about such matters?