A recent study identified "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" as an example of an award winning children's book that features notable characters with disabilities. The study focused on all the Caldecott Medal winners from 1939 to 2005, and the children's book characters with disabilities we're talking about are Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful and four others who have the condition known as dwarfism.
According to the study's authors, portrayals like these do not always accurately represent real-life disabilites. In the case of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," for example, children might be led to see people with dwarfism as mostly friendly, happy, gnomelike, and given to wearing tall hats and living with people like themselves. The authors think that teachers who use the books in class could help in making children move away from stereotypes and instead think of people with dwarfism as valued and productive members of society. Teachers could introduce words like "midget" or phrases like "little person," or address real-life issues like talking about difficulties that a person with a disability may have in accessing public facilities like ATM machines or library shelves.
A. What teacher uses Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in class?
B. Aren't they missing some other potential corrections?
1. Princes can't really rescue you.
2. It's not possible to live in a kind of suspended animation in a glass coffin.
3. It's animal abuse for the huntsman to slaughter another animal so he can show the evil queen a heart.
4. Women don't really long to clean up after seven guys.
What other messages should teachers be sure to correct when they "use the book in class"?