P.R.I.D.E. Research

Like most Office of Child Development efforts, the P.R.I.D.E. Program emerged research. In 2016, the OCD Ready Freddy Kindergarten transition team began reading articles about race and young children after being inspired to do so by an article written by Dr. Rich Milner,  then director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Urban Education. The team then conducted an environmental scan followed by a study entitled Positive Racial Identity Development in Early Education: Understanding P.R.I.D.E. in Pittsburgh. The goal of the P.R.I.D.E. scan was to further explore the intersection of race and young children in Pittsburgh. It drew on the latest race studies as well as interviews with parents, educators, and key informants; surveys of parents and teachers; classroom observations; and guidance from a local advisory committee. The work sought to answer critical questions about what is already known about positive racial identity, what work was being done to support it, and what holes existed in resources, training, and information.

Findings from the study informed each component of the P.R.I.D.E. program. Parents relayed a desired to talk about race with their children but felt ill equipped to have those conversations. That gap led to the creation of Parent Village, a six-week curriculum designed to help parents learn more about their race, culture, and history in order to feel capable of having conversations about race with their young children. The lack of community-wide awareness of the impact of race on young children spawned the P.R.I.D.E. Speaker Series, a free public forum for community dialogue about race that specifically focuses on the needs and experiences of young children. Finding from the scan literature review revealed information about the significance of the arts in supporting young children’s positive racial identity from which the P.R.I.D.E. Pop Up Mini Art Festivals emerged. Teachers testified to the need for for both training and resources, which resulted in the P.R.I.D.E. Professional Development component. Our interest as an organization in continuous quality improvement spurred the evaluation and research component of P.R.I.D.E.

The scan provided foundational research for P.R.I.D.E. and that research continues as we seek to grow our understanding of the relationship between race and young children.

For more more information, read the full report or check out the executive summary. Below is a collection of other research findings related to positive racial identity.

Additional Research Findings

Young Children Notice Race

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

Young Children Notice Race

Three-month old infants prefer same-race, or same caregiver race, faces, while six-month old infants can categorize people by race nonverbally.
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Children's Racial Attitudes May Differ From their Parents

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

Children's Racial Attitudes May Differ From their Parents

Children’s racial attitudes do not necessarily match their parents’ attitudes, with many children having racial attitudes that match societal views of race.
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Black Children Can Have a White Bias, but Still Feel Good About Themselves

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

Black Children Can Have a White Bias, but Still Feel Good About Themselves

When children show bias, it does not always reflect their racial attitudes about themselves.
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Feeling Good About Their Race is a Good Thing for Black Children

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

Feeling Good About Their Race is a Good Thing for Black Children

Having a positive racial identity has been correlated with positive outcomes for African American youth.
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Often adults are afraid to talk about race, don't have the right resources, or just don't know how to start.

Positive Racial Identity in Early Education: Understanding P.R.I.D.E. in Pittsburgh

Parenting Matters

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

Parenting Matters

There are numerous ways that African American parents can affect their child's racial identity
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Colorblind Approaches Persist in Early Childhood Education

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

Colorblind Approaches Persist in Early Childhood Education

Teacher-student racial mismatch is continuing to increase, while teaching continues to be overwhelmingly colorblind
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Teachers Have Implicit Racial Biases

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

Teachers Have Implicit Racial Biases

Studies have shown that these implicit racial biases may negatively impact African American students
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The Arts Prove Beneficial

P.R.I.D.E. Research Finding

The Arts Prove Beneficial

Incorporating the arts into education is beneficial for African American children
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