Report Roundup

Early Childhood

"Do Early Educators' Implicit Biases Regarding Sex and Race Relate to Behavior Expectations and Recommendations of Preschool Expulsions and Suspensions?"

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

Black children make up only 19 percent of the children enrolled in public preschool but account for 47 percent of those suspended from preschool. Researchers at Yale University suggest in a study released last month that implicit bias—the negative or positive feelings people are unaware they hold—may be behind that disparity.

Researchers shared vignettes with 135 preschool teachers that described a child acting out on the playground, ignoring the teacher, pushing classmates, and otherwise misbehaving. The vignettes differed only by names of students: Jake and Emily were chosen as names connoting white children, and DeShawn or Latoya were given as black names.

The study found that black teachers tended to hold "black" preschoolers to a higher standard than white teachers did. In general, black teachers recommended harsher exclusionary discipline, such as suspension or expulsion, for all children.

Told that the misbehaving children had a difficult home life, teachers showed more empathy—but only when the teacher and the child were of the same race. When the races differed, teachers rated the behavior as harder to fix.

Vol. 36, Issue 08, Page 5

Published in Print: October 12, 2016, as Early Childhood
Related Stories
You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login | Register
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories