How and why children develop biased attitudes about race will be addressed in an upcoming Austin College guest lecture “Colorblind or Color-Conscious? How do we talk to children about race?” by Dr. Brigitte Vittrup, professor of child development at Texas Woman’s University. The lecture, held at 4:30 p.m. Monday, March 23, in IDEA Center Room 127, is free and open to the public.
The lecture will also cover how parents and adults can intercept the development of those attitudes, examples of children’s comments and questions, common reactions from parents, and specific strategies for talking to children about race.
Vittrup teaches courses in child development, research methods, and statistics. She is actively engaged in research projects dealing with child and family issues, including racial socialization, racial attitudes, and media influences on children.
Her research has been featured in academic journals as well as major news outlets, including The Washington Post, Newsweek, and NPR. In addition, she has presented her research findings to various audiences, including researchers, parents, lawyers, and early childhood professionals.
After completing a bachelor’s degree in radio, television, and film at The University of Texas, Vittrup’s interests changed and she completed a second bachelor’s degree—in psychology—at Texas State University. She then completed a master’s degree in psychology and a doctorate in developmental psychology at The University of Texas.
Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 50 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. Related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA), Austin College cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. The College, founded in 1849, is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.