Messages, Identity, and Inclusion in Education


Messages, Identity, and Inclusion in Education

Early influences that depress children’s beliefs about their own ability can lead to lower educational achievement and persistent disadvantage. In particular, receiving negative messages about gender- and race-specific levels of ability have played a role in generating disadvantage for women and minorities. Children are particularly vulnerable to negative messages about race and gender, as their beliefs about their own capacities are highly malleable.


This project aims to improve how we estimate the extent and implications of children’s exposure to race- and gender-coded messages. The initial goal of the project will be to develop, verify, apply, and disseminate new methods of human-directed, machine-implemented content analysis focused on measuring implicit messages about race and gender in visual content. We anticipate that the tools we develop will catalyze new research in fields such as computational science and social science, and will advance our understanding of the extent of these messages and their contribution to inequality.



Project Summary

Working Paper

Data Visualizations


In the Media


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The Wall Street Journal

"Jack and the Bean Counters: A Woke Children’s Story"

Harris Public Policy

"Anjali Adukia Receives Grant to Research How Race, Gender Messages Affect Students"

Harris Public Policy

"Path-breaking Use of Artificial Intelligence Reveals Racial and Gender Bias in Children’s Books"

Code Together

"SciVis Unveils a Billion Cells, Covid-19 & Invisible Monsters"

School Library Journal

"New Study Looks at Race, Gender Representation in Award-Winning Children’s Books"

Columbia TC

"With an $880,000 IES Grant, TC’s Alex Eble Explores How Textbooks’ Messages Shape Children’s..."


"Episode 19: What We Teach About Race and Gender -- with Anjali Adukia "

The 74

"Study: AI Uncovers Skin-Tone in Most Beloved Children's Books"




Thank you to generous support from

The research reported here was also supported by the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, through Grant R305A200478 to the University of Chicago.