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Black Learners Are Assets to Their Classrooms, Not Problems to Remove

The term “exclusionary discipline” describes any type of punishment or behavioral management strategy that takes the child out of their classroom, including sending the child home for the day, in-school or out-of-school suspension, and, in the most extreme cases, expulsion.

Of all racial and ethnic groups, Black children are consistently the most likely to experience exclusionary discipline, beginning as early as preschool, and the effects can be lifelong, with studies linking exclusionary discipline to a lifetime of lower school performance and increased risk of incarceration. Ending exclusionary discipline practices is crucial to ensuring that Black children can consistently enjoy equal access to high-quality childcare.

One organization, Village of Wisdom, is working to stop the use of exclusionary discipline in early childhood education by employing what they call a “Black Genius” framework, which is “designed to help teachers and families appropriately support Black learners by seeing them as bringing a variety of assets to the classroom, rather than deficits they must overcome.”

Take a look:

Using the ‘Black Genius’ framework to prevent exclusionary discipline in pre-K

Village of Wisdom (VoW) has been working to eliminate racial injustice in schools since 2014. Now they’re bringing their “Black Genius” framework to pre-K in an effort to halt the use of exclusionary discipline in early childhood education.

Evidence shows that Black children are disproportionately subjected to exclusion, suspension, and expulsion in preschool — often for behavior that’s developmentally appropriate for their age.

“My vision is that we stop penalizing children for being children,” said Roxann Dixon, manager of early childhood education initiatives at VoW.

Image of Dr. Dawn X. Henderson and Roxann Dixon of Village of Wisdom, via EdNC


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