Black Children in Early Childhood Study

Hello and welcome everyone,

I want to Thank you for your interest in this study. My name is Dr.  Idara Essien, and I am instructor at a California State University in the Department of Child and Family Development at. As a parent of three Black children and an educational researcher, I am interested in the interactions that teachers have with parents and students that they serve. This study, which I hope you will participate in, examines experiences with racial microaggressions.

Racial microaggressions are the subtle forms of racism that Black children and their families often encounter in school. There are many different types of microaggressions, they can include ways in which your child is treated by educators or administrators, such as dismissive looks, treating your child as lesser than others, unintentional insults, conveying surprise about a child’s intelligence, assuming a Black child automatically has a disability, viewing Black children as being innately bad and up to no good, and much more.

Microaggressions can also include experiences that you have had with teachers, with regard to how they talk to you, interact with you, and communicate with you. In this particular study, I am hoping that you will share you’re your and your child’s experiences in early childhood education, that’s any experience that occurs between preschool up to third grade. I want permission to share your stories with the research community, educators, and in venues that may help to bring greater awareness of issues facing Black children in early childhood education. Once you click on the button to enter the survey below, you will see a document that provides more details about the project and will ask you to provide your consent for participation.


Please know that your stories will be shared without anyone knowing who you are – but I will know who participated because each participant will receive a $20 Amazon gift card. However, the collection of your email for the gift card and stories are done separately to ensure that no one will know who you are.

My Personal Experience

Lastly, before you begin – I’d like to share a few of my own experiences with you – so that this is not a one-way exchange of information. I have had many great experiences with those who have taught my children and unfortunately poor experiences as well. A few of the less desirable experiences include a teacher who suggested that my daughter was mentally incapable of doing well in school, I’ve also experienced a school play where my children and other children were case as dwarfs and animals while the only White child in the classroom was the lead figure, teachers not wanting my four-year old son to give a hug to a White girl for fear of him, a teacher who said that she was surprised that my daughter “actually smart”, a teacher who assumed that I would not be involved because I am Black and my children are Black, . Again, I have been fortunate that the good has outweighed the bad, but I believe the negative experiences can serve as learning moments for our teachers. I hope you will provide me with additional stories to tell them.

With kind regards,

Dr. Essien