DIVERSITY: Building Partnerships with Families Presented by Malia Jackson and Dr. Lisa Monroe
Early Childhood Education Institute Vision Advancing quality in early childhood through research, evaluation, and outreach Research is based on early childhood programs throughout the state– visiting child care centers, Early Head Starts, preschools and private schools.
According to NAEYC, diversity is encouraged to, “help children view others as individuals, without pre conceived notions and to see a positive side to differences.”
Objectives • Review appropriate diverse materials in the classroom • Develop an understanding of our beliefs and an appreciation for different perspectives • Discuss language and communication styles and opportunities for interacting with families.
Building Partnerships:Designing for Diversity Expanding diversity by ECERS-R standards (Harms, Cryer, Clifford,2003)
ECERS-R/ITERS-R • Early Childhood Environmental Rating Scale-Revised (ECERS-R) and Infant Toddler Environmental Rating Scale-Revised (ITERS-R) (Cryer, Harms, Clifford, 2003) • Measurement tool developed to evaluate quality of early childhood classroom • Some indicators-exposure children have to language, interaction, materials, outside play throughout the day
Reviewing the types of books children have accessible to them throughout the day - this includes diverse ages, abilities, and gender roles
Evaluating the amount of material children see and touch throughout the day
Examining the type of music children are exposed to and how often they are engaged in musical activities
Investing in Diversity • Develop a learning environment that supports and maximizes the quality of care provided to children by creating a classroom that respects children’s home environments • Children feel more comfortable in a classroom that reflects their lives
Stereotypes, Personal Biases, Attitude • What are some preconceived notions about different groups of people? • Ideals of the “typical” family • Expectations of parents in your classroom • Attitude regarding income • How do these experiences impact your willingness/ability to communicate with families?
Culture and Childrearing Culture influences: • Sleep patterns and bedtime routines • Toilet learning • Age-related expectations of children • Diet and mealtime behavior • How parents talk to children • Gender identity and traditional roles • Use of supplemental childcare • Child’s attachment to and separation from adults
Culture and the Classroom • Culture passes from one generation to another through child rearing practices. • Culture is rarely visible unless, it collides with your own belief systems and values • Understanding differences doesn’t mean you have to see “eye to eye”- provides perspective Goal: Look for meaning behind parenting behavior ** 50 Strategies for Communicating and Working with Diverse Families, Janet Mena-Gonzalez, 2007
Building Partnerships with Families: Effective Communication
Language Verbal and Non-verbal Communication Is your verbal message in-sync with your body language? • Body language • Posture • Movements • Facial expressions • Personal space • Use of language • Speaking clearly • Tones
Seizing Opportunities to Communicate • Greetings/Departing • Parent handbooks: philosophies that promote parent participation • Visuals – specifically to non-English speakers or hearing impaired - displays (check in boards, job boards) - individual letters or newsletters • Social Events- “open houses” or “family nights”
Removing the Barriers to Partnerships • Create a classroom that reflects our diverse society • Recognize your beliefs and the role they play in communicating with families • Remembering that children come to us within a context of a family • Making sure your communication style is effective and seizing opportunities to interact with families
Children will thrive when respectful partnerships exist between teachers and families and when diversity is valued.
References • Infant/Toddler and Early Childhood Environment Rating Scales: http://www.fpg.unc.edu/~ecers/ • www.naeyc.org National Association for the Education of the Young Child 50 Strategies for Communicating and Working with Diverse Families, 2nd Edition, Janet Gonzalez-Mena
For more information, please contact us at: OU-Tulsa Early Childhood Education Institute 4502 East 41st Street Tulsa, Oklahoma 74135 http://education.ou.edu/ecei/ Malia Jackson 918-660-3895 Malia.email@example.com Lisa Monroe 918-660-3866 firstname.lastname@example.org