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Who’s Left Out of Learning? Racial Disparities in Teachers’ Reports of Exclusionary Discipline Strategies Beyond Suspensions and Expulsions

We documented (1) the use of strategies, beyond suspensions and expulsions, that exclude young students from learning opportunities and (2) how teacher-reported use of these strategies varied according to student racial/ethnic composition. In a sample of 2,053 teachers and 40,771 kindergarten students, teachers reported on their use of five exclusionary strategies including isolated seating, removal from an activity, and loss of recess. Teachers reported substantive use of all exclusionary strategies and use varied depending on strategy. Teachers reported using certain exclusionary practices (break outside of classroom, loss of recess or free time, and limit talking) more frequently when they rated more Black versus White students to be lowest on self-regulation and social skills. Findings illustrate the value of looking beyond suspensions and expulsions in the early years to advance equity in young children’s opportunities to engage with teachers, peers, and learning tasks at school.

Keywords
exclusionary discipline, classroom management, racial disproportionality, educational opportunity, kindergarten
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)
10.26300/pep2-w676

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Williford, Amanda P., Pilar Alamos, Jessica E. Whittaker, and Maria R. Accavitti. (). Who’s Left Out of Learning? Racial Disparities in Teachers’ Reports of Exclusionary Discipline Strategies Beyond Suspensions and Expulsions. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-472). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University: https://doi.org/10.26300/pep2-w676

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