1st Edition

Racialisation in Early Years Education Black Children’s Stories from the Classroom

By Gina Houston Copyright 2019
    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    148 Pages
    by Routledge

    This timely book explores the unique experiences of young black children during their first year of school and supports an understanding of how entry into the early years environment impacts on identity. Their stories emphasise the importance of listening to the voices of children themselves. A theoretical analysis of their first-hand experiences through a critical race lens illustrates how they are racialised through everyday interactions and routines. Chapters explore how personal and institutional attitudes might be reviewed to ensure that pedagogies and practices support the maintenance of black identities and challenge racism.

    Enabling the reader to relate to the reality of black children’s experience and offering valuable suggestions for effective anti-racist practice, chapters cover the following:


    • the impacts of racism on black children’s newly forming identities
    • manifestations of racism in the early years sector
    • multiculturalism and institutional whiteness
    • effective communication with parents
    • racialisation in relation to intersections of class, gender and race
    • the role of playful pedagogies and friendships to support cultural identity.


    This book enhances understanding of how race and racism operate across the early years sector and offers advice and reflective questions throughout. It is essential reading for students, practitioners and policymakers involved in early years provision.


    Series editors’ preface


    Chapter One: Critical Race Theory - A tool for understanding the racialisation of black children in education

    Chapter Two: Key influences on black children’s identities

    Chapter Three: Devon’s Story -‘Best friends’ - The roles of friendships in the challenges to young black identities

    Chapter Four: Kylie and Sonic’s Story - ‘Can we play now?’ - Early years pedagogy and black children’s education

    Chapter Five: Pina’s Story - A ‘good hair day?’ - Racialisation of the black child through physical appearance

    Chapter Six: Dawn’s Story – ‘But that’s not racist!’ - A white perspective on Pina’s story

    Chapter Seven: Play and Multiculturalism – Some relevant debates and issues

    Chapter Eight: The way forward - Action towards a more inclusive early years education

    Chapter Nine: Conclusion



    Gina Houston has experience working with young black children and their families in England and Jamaica. Since qualifying as a teacher she has been a nursery school head teacher, trainer, early years advisor and children’s centre manager. Working for a national charity, she has also supported practitioners in adopting anti-racist practice and policy across the early years sector.