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Key Readings on Children's Development of Social Inclusion and Respect for Diversity

Romero, Mariajose

This resource includes a sample of research and policy books, articles, reports, and other resources on how children from birth to 10 years of age develop concepts related to social inclusion and respect for diversity (SI & RD). Three separate research traditions directly or indirectly address this question: Research from developmental, cognitive, and social psychology, which explores processes in laboratory settings. Issues examined include: prejudice development; intergroup contact; racial perspective taking ability and racial attitudes; implicit and explicit biases and stereotypes; empathy; attachment; social categorization and social identity; and perceived threat and stereotype threat. Questions remain about how the research findings are circumscribed to the broader context within which research takes place or how they may apply to children’s natural contexts. Research from multicultural education and critical cultural studies of education, schools and peer cultures, which examines children in schools, peer groups, and other contexts where they grow and develop. Based on an analysis and critique of how society, culture, and the economy structure children’s experiences and trajectories, this literature explores such issues as: peer cultures; class, race and gender stratification and socialization; teacher-student interaction; teacher preparation; and school curriculum and school knowledge, among others. Questions remain about how the processes of identity formation, group formation, exclusion, attachment, or solidarity discussed in this literature are grounded on children’s psychological capacities and developmental stages. The literature in early childhood education, describing direct work with young children and their caregivers. Based largely on the anti-bias work of Louise Derman-Sparks* and to a lesser extent on multicultural education, this literature examines issues of teacher perspectives; teacher preparation; curriculum content, specifically with regards to rationales for selecting story books and literacy activities; and the role of media. With a somewhat weak theoretical and empirical basis, this literature proceeds with little discussion of the psychological foundations or the social, political, cultural and economic contexts within which children grow and develop.


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National Center for Children in Poverty, Columbia University

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National Center for Children in Poverty
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February 22, 2019