Race in the Preschool Classroom: Links Between Teacher/Child Race and Children's Outcomes

Wymer, Sarah, Clinical Psychology - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Williford, Amanda, CU-Human Svcs, University of Virginia

Children’s experiences during their early years of education are strong predictors of their short- and long-term skill development and success in school and life. The preschool period is a particularly favorable time to intervene in children’s lives, when developmental trajectories are particularly malleable. High-quality, positive early educational experiences have the potential to reduce or eliminate achievement gaps and set children on a trajectory of positive skill development into later school years. Unfortunately, racial and ethnic minority children are at higher risk for having a more negative experience in preschool. These early disparities in educational experiences only further perpetuate later disparities in educational and social outcomes. Given this dilemma, there is a need to understand how the experiences of racial and ethnic minority children in preschool differ from those of White children in order to identify avenues to address these inequities. This three-paper dissertation explores differences in experiences and outcomes for Black and White children in preschool, with the goals of reducing disparities in disciplinary and educational outcomes for young children.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
race, preschool, exclusionary discipline
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