Educator Discussion Series Dialogue
Understanding Children’s Identity Formation Resources

Understanding Children’s Identity Formation Resources

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This space has been created for parents, educators, social justice advocates, mentors, youth based organizations and attendees of “Who am I? Understanding Children’s Identity Formation” as a forum for sharing experiences and reflections as they work through these resources. On this page, we invite and encourage you to share your experiences and reflections, ideas and insights and engage with others in a safe, meaningful, substantive, and bold conversations on the impact of race and racism on children’s understanding of themselves and the social world.

While these resources are intended to offer a foundation on the subject of understanding children’s identity formation, our list is not intended to be exhaustive and we welcome suggestions to other potential resources.

With our next event on February 8th, 2018 titled “Who am I? Understanding Children’s Identity Formation” along with both the provided and suggested resources on this page, we hope readers will explore different ways they can best support children as they figure out who they are.

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Understanding Children's Identity Formation

Dr. Sarah R. Lytle – Director of the University of Washington Institute for Learning and Brain Science

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Readings and Resources

Identify Formation Event Recap and Classroom Strategies
By, Hilltop Children’s Center (2018)

How Do I Talk to My Kids About Race?
By, University of Washington I-LABS (2016)

Gender Identity and Expression in the Early Childhood Classroom: Influences on Development Within Sociocultural Contexts
By, Jamie Solomon (2016)

Young Minds: The Important Role of Brain Science
By, Lisa Hansel (2017)

My Son’s Realization That He’s “Brown”
By, Kim Doan (2013)

Children can ‘catch’ social bias through nonverbal signals expressed by adults
By, University of Washington and UW I-LABS (2016)

Culturally Responsive Strategies to Support Young Children with Challenging Behavior
By Charis Price and Elizabeth Steed (2016)

Guidelines for Development Appropriate Practice for Children Birth to Age 8 – Page 16
By, NAYEC (2009)

Healthy Gender Development and Young Children
By, University of Washington

Supporting Healthy Identity Development
By, Dora Pulido-Tobiassen and Janet Gonzalez-Mena (1999)

Intersectionality: Young and Black but Male and Privileged? 
By, Michael Browne (2018)

What we do, and what we say matters! 
By Michael Browne (2017)

Fostering Inclusion in the Classroom
By Shalla Sayed (2017)

The First 2,000 Days of Life
By Sarah Felstiner (2017)

Speaking in Tongues
By Jill (2017)

Hilltop’s Statement on Equity and Social Justice
By, Hilltop’s Board of Directors (2016)

Can’t make this workshop?  Hilltop Educator Institute offers day Study Day to jumpstart reflective thinking, see the work in action, and support your work with children and families.  For groups wanting to bring a particular content focus to their Study Day visit, we offer full day visits where one or two of the following topics can be discussed in greater depth:

  • Pedagogical Documentation
  • Environments for Reflective Practice
  • Responsive Curriculum Planning
  • Family Engagement
  • In-Depth Investigations
  • Anti-Bias Education

For more information visit or email Mike at

Many thanks to our sponsors, Kids Quest Children’s Museum for their generosity and support


In the spirit of dialogue, and practicing the Reggio Emilia value of “learning in relationship,” we invite you to delve into deeper thinking and conversation about this event by sharing your thoughts, questions, or comments below!

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