Remixing and Reimagining the Early Childhood School Experiences of Brilliant Black Boys

in Boyhood Studies
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  • 1 University of Memphis blwrght1@memphis.edu
  • 2 Ohio State University ford.255@osu.edu
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Abstract

As early as preschool, Black boys face low and negative expectations that contribute to excessive subjective-based discipline, over-referrals by teachers to special education, and under-referrals by teachers to gifted education. An increasing body of research demonstrates that the predominantly White female teaching force is complicit in allowing deficit thinking to compromise their views of Black boys’ languages, literacies, strengths, and cultural ways of being. We present an overview of these issues, with most attention devoted to gifted education, as it is a neglected topic when it comes to Black boys. We also share a formula for educators to adopt that sets minimum representation percentages in order to be equitable in gifted education for Black students in general and Black boys in particular.

Contributor Notes

Brian L. Wright, PhD is Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of Early Childhood Education in the Department of Instruction and Curriculum Leadership in the College of Education at the University of Memphis. His research focuses on high-achieving Black boys, racial-ethnic identity development of boys and young men of color, Black men as early childhood teachers, and teacher identity development. He was the winner of the 2018 Philip C. Chinn Book Award from the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME) for his book The Brilliance of Black Boys: Cultivating School Success in the Early Grades (2018). Email: blwrght1@memphis.edu

Donna Y. Ford, PhD is a Professor and Cornelius Vanderbilt Endowed Chair at Vanderbilt University. She holds appointments in the Dept. of Special Education and Dept. of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education. She writes extensively and presents widely on gifted education inequities relative to Black and Hispanic students. Topics include underrepresentation, underachievement, racial identity, and multicultural curriculum. She's published more than 250 articles, chapters, and books, and received numerous awards. Email: donna.ford@vanderbilt.edu

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