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Race and Ability Talk in Early Childhood: Critical Inquiry Into Preservice Teachers' Shared Book Reading Practice

Tue, April 17, 8:15 to 9:45am, Sheraton New York Times Square, Second Floor, Metropolitan West Room

Abstract

In this qualitative study, we investigated how four White, able-bodied pre-service teachers facilitated dialogue about ability and race with young children during shared-book reading, and the experiences that mediated pre-service teachers’ practice. Results demonstrated how pre-service teachers constructed themselves as experts by controlling the amount of child talk and ways children could contribute to talk. When ability and race were discussed, pre-service teachers conveyed the notion that ability and race are neutral identity markers. Given what they gleaned from their early educational experiences, experiences in university coursework, and fieldwork, pre-service teachers had few means by which to enter critical conversations about ability and race with young children. Implications for teacher education and future research are discussed.

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