Since its inception, Before Racism has been committed to continuous improvement. In alignment with this core value, Before Racism, working with Wilder Research in late 2022-early 2023, evaluated its program in five pilot sites in Minnesota and Massachusetts. The initial findings show very promising impact on classroom teachers. Evaluation Overview Teachers at five sites rated their confidence levels in three core teaching practice areas at the beginning of the program and after the program had been completed 2-3 months later.
- Their skills and abilities to teach in a way that will help prevent the development of bias, race bias, and racism in children’s lives;
- Their ability to successfully address issues of bias, race bias, and racism in their classrooms;
- Their ability to successfully address issues of bias, race bias, and racism with parents.
Key Findings#1: The program had a strong impact on teachers, as demonstrated by the average increase in rating scores and by their personal testimonies.
“I appreciate and value the deep conversations we’ve had, which probably would not have happened without our involvement in the program.” —Teacher participant
“There is such a need for culturally responsive teaching and people tend to only think of older children when it comes to culturally responsive pedagogy. Knowing your biases is SO helpful.” —Teacher participant
Participants’ Change in Levels of Confidence in Three Core Teaching Areas
Rating Scale: 1 = Not At All Confident and 10 = Very Confident
|Teaching Practice Area||Average rating score at beginning of program||Average rating score at completion of program||Average rating score at beginning of program|
|Confidence in skills and abilities to teach in a way to help prevent bias, race bias, and racism||6.04||7.98||+1.94|
|Confidence in ability to successfully address issues of bias, race bias, and racism in the classroom||6.39||8.15||+1.76|
|Confidence in ability to successfully address issues of bias, race bias, and racism with parents||5.80||7.51||+1.71|
#2: Teachers had important and specific suggestions to strengthen the program. As a result, Before Racism will add more examples, role-playing scenarios, and classroom activities to the program and increase the voices of parents in the program materials.“It was very eye opening, and made us more aware of ourselves andhow we conduct ourselves in the classroom.” —Teacher participant
Program Pilot Sites
- All Seasons Preschool (Minnesota)
- Child Care of the Berkshires (Massachusetts)
- New Horizon Academy: Highland Park (Minnesota)
- New Horizon Academy: Prior Lake (Minnesota)
- New Horizon Academy: Rice Street (Minnesota)