Addressing race and racism in early childhood: Challenges and opportunities
Discussions on Sensitive Issues
This chapter draws on developmental intergroup theory, parental ethnic-racial socialization literature, anti-bias curricula, and prejudice intervention studies to address the appropriateness of discussing race and racism in early childhood settings. Existing literature about teacher discussions surrounding race and racism is reviewed, best practices are shared, and the need for more research in this area is highlighted. The construct of parental ethnic-racial socialization is mapped onto early childhood anti-bias classroom practices. The chapter also outlines racial ideologies of teachers, specifically anti-bias and colorblind attitudes, and discusses how these ideologies may manifest in classroom practices surrounding race and racism. Colorblind ideology is problematized and dissected to show that colorblind practices may harm children. Young children’s interpretations of race and racism, in light of children’s cognitive developmental level, are discussed. Additionally, findings from racial prejudice intervention studies are applied to teaching. Early literacy practices surrounding race and racism are outlined with practical suggestions for teachers and teacher educators. Moreover, implications of teacher practices surrounding race and racism for children’s development, professional development, and teacher education are discussed.
Farago, Flora; Sanders, Kay; and Gaias, Larissa, "Addressing race and racism in early childhood: Challenges and opportunities" (2015). Faculty Publications. 2.