Discussing race, via books, in mainly White preschools
Journal of Research in Childhood Education
This mixed-methods study investigated how two White preschool teachers, who were familiar with anti-bias pedagogy but had low training on anti-racist teaching strategies, discussed race and racism, using books, in two predominantly White classrooms. Teachers were observed in two classrooms, during book discussions with children, and teachers’ racial attitudes were assessed via two survey measures. The book discussions were audio-recorded and transcribed. Teachers discussed skin, hair, and eye color, and avoided naming “race” or “racism.” Teachers placed racial discrimination on the same footing as other physical differences, decreasing the significance of racism and racial discrimination. There was silence surrounding race, both from the White teachers and primarily White children. The teachers focused on encouraging children to accept all differences and minimized the salience of race, racism, and racial discrimination. Despite reporting race-conscious attitudes on the survey measures, the teachers struggled to discuss race and racism with young children in the actual classrooms. Implications are discussed for teacher professional development.
Flóra Faragó (2023) (Not) Discussing Race, via Books, in Mainly White Preschools, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, DOI: 10.1080/02568543.2023.2235417
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