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Dismantling Racial Inequity in Early Childhood Education: Supporting Self-reflection and Turning Awareness into Anti-racist Action

Start Date September 2021 End Date August 2023


The purpose of the proposed study, conducted within the structure of a research-practice partnership, is to address this urgent gap by first deeply learning about teachers’ understanding of racism, and how this understanding has been shaped by their experiences and relationships – both private (e.g., family of origin, community, lived racial experiences) and professional (e.g., colleagues, students and their families, coaches). We focus in particular on self-reflection and authentic relationships as key processes to build awareness and take action.


Primary data will be collected through case studies in three NYC pre-K programs, with data collection from three teachers (at least one lead and one assistant), one instructional coordinator and one pre-K administrator in the 2021-22 school year. Each teacher will participate in three qualitative interviews throughout the course of the year. Structured interviews with instructional coordinators and pre-K administrators will be guided by the DECE Early Childhood Framework for Quality, Standard 1, on anti-racist and culturally relevant practice. Additionally, artifacts on the nature of supports provided for Standard 1 will be obtained from NYC administrative data from instructional coordinators’ logs.


Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Spring Dawson-McClure, Co-Principal Investigator

Dr. Fabienne Doucet, Co-Investigator

Dr. Gabriela Barajas-Gonzalez, Co-Investigator

Contributing Institutions

NYU Langone: Center for Early Childhood Health and Development 

NYU Steinhardt: Metro Center