For too long, Black children’s educational needs have not been prioritized with attention to their culture, language, historical and contemporary racialized experiences, and building their positive racial identity. It is critical that early childhood education settings for young children be transformed to be a place of learning and healing by centering Black children’s cultural identity through African-centered education (ACE). Through ACE practices, Black children can find meaningful connections with their ancestral heritage to expand on their knowledge. In this article, we discuss the need and the history of ACE, its link to Black children’s well-being and outcomes, the status of these types of programming, and educational leaders’ understanding of what ACE entails. Finally, we end with ways to integrate ACE in early childhood through the R.I.C.H.E.R. framework. It is critical that the full humanity and cultural roots of Black children are centered on delivering on the promise of equal educational opportunity. (author abstract)
African-centered education (ACE): Strategies to advance culturally responsive pedagogy and equitable learning opportunities for young Black children
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