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Westfield State professor’s book probes how ‘technology racism’ impacts quality of education

Westfield State University Early Childhood Education Professor Miriam Tager, Ph.D., has written a new book.

Titled Technology Segregation: Disrupting Racist Frameworks in Early Childhood Education (Lexington Books, 2019), sheds light on “technology racism” in which children’s lack of access to technology impacts their quality of education and life success. The book draws from rich classroom observation and the history of segregation in housing, education, and technology in American communities. It uses the framework of critical race theory to unpack the issue of technology segregation of citizens of color in the United States.

Examples of “technology racism” includes high poverty schools that have little to no technology in the classroom. Dr. Tager witnessed a pre-K teacher doing a lesson with his own personal laptop, with no access to a projector or smartboard.

A Westfield State faculty member since 2015, Dr. Tager previously served as a first-grade public school teacher in New York and New Jersey and was a preschool director in New York City. She earned a Ph.D. in urban education with a concentration in early childhood education from the City University of New York Graduate Center. She received an M.S. in early childhood education from Bank Street College and a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College.

“I was inspired by my research on school readiness. I noticed that students of color had much less access to technology, said Tager. “I conducted a second study in Massachusetts, to see if it held true, and it did.”

Dr. Tager’s research interests include critical pedagogy, challenging school readiness, early intervention, early childhood curriculum, and anti-deficit pedagogical practices. She is also the author of the book, Challenging the School Readiness Agenda in Early Childhood Education (Routledge, 2017).