Article

Social Justice in Early Childhood Classrooms: What the Research Tells Us

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Abstract

Children from very young ages internalize messages about power and privilege with regard to gender, race/ethnicity, class, sexual orientation, and language, which they perpetuate through their play and talk. While families are a critical piece in shaping children's values on such matters, classroom practices communicate and reinforce strong, subtle, and repeated social messages about what is and is not valued. The consequences of these messages are enormous not only for individual children, but also for a society that strives for equality and justice for all. In early childhood programs and in preschool and primary classrooms, it is critical for teachers to address injustice and develop equity-based pedagogies, because children form ideas about fairness and their own sense of identity within the larger world during these early years. This review looks at the research on early childhood teaching for equity and makes recommendations to teachers for developing such practices.

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... "Young children tend to think in simple terms, and therefore, easily develop different stereotypes" (Selmi, Gallager, & Mora-Flores, 2015, p. 10). It is the responsibility of early childhood teachers to support children's diverse thinking skills (Hyland, 2010;Morrison, 2015;Selmi et al., 2015;Zakin, 2012). This paper describes how teachers can expand and challenge young children's perceptions and understanding of diverse classrooms. ...
... Children need adults' support to form their own gender identity, and during the preschool years, their foundation is developed (Derman-Sparks & Edwards, 2010). Children's identity development can be limited by gender messages that society presents, such as how boys and girls should conduct themselves (Hyland, 2010). ...
... Teachers can offer children opportunities to play dress-up activities, read books on nontraditional gender roles (Mattix & Sobolak, 2014), and to invite parents/ family members with cross-gender occupations (Hyland, 2010). At one preschool, teachers invited parents/family members with cross-gender occupations to talk about their work, including a male nurse, female construction worker, female taxi driver, male preschool teacher, male hairdresser, female security guard, and male fashion designer. ...
Article
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Our conversations across the Atlantic came about through our joint connection with the International Association of Laboratory Schools (IALS), a spirit of collegiality, and a belief in the power of Communities of Practice. These reflective conversations have highlighted some of the strengths and opportunities for growth of our laboratory schools in context. What has become clear is that in order to be competitive and relevant as laboratory schools within the current academic landscape, we must keep the mission of our laboratory schools at the forefront of our minds and be ready to revisit this philosophy as a stimulus for reflection. This paper describes the context of our two learning centers and focuses on our mission statements in relation to the IALS core characteristics of laboratory schools which is guided by the model of Appreciative Inquiry in its broadest sense; particularly highlighting our strengths and aspirations (Lemmerman, Cardenas, Tschannen-Moran and Tschannen-Moran, 2007).
... Instead, classrooms should strive to develop the critical consciousness of children who can then challenge the status quo (Hyland, 2010). Positive communication between individuals of different ethnicities can improve attitudes toward, and relationships with, one another (Cameron & Rutland, 2008;Gaertner et al., 2008). ...
... Teachers most commonly described Kindergarten Teachers' Perspectives on Culturally Responsive Education 774 incorporating celebrations and responding to explicit and isolated student requests and needs in their classrooms. A recurring theme in the literature on CRE is that relying on materials alone (e.g., an occasional book on a cultural celebration) is not enough (Aboud & Levy, 2000;Hyland, 2010). Teachers in this study used literature to communicate with their students about human differences. ...
... Teachers in this study used literature to communicate with their students about human differences. While the occasional presentation of a book about an ethnic group may reinforce "otherness" (i.e., some cultures being exceptions to the norm of whiteness; e.g., Hyland, 2010), some teachers took additional steps to use books as tools to elicit conversations about diversity and social justice. A CRE framework that considers structured and spontaneous practices complements other models. ...
Article
Six kindergarten teachers in the Greater Toronto Area were interviewed on their understandings of and approaches to culturally responsive education (CRE) in their classrooms. Teachers generally reported believing that CRE is important in kindergarten, and the practices they implemented fell into two categories: structured components of their classrooms and spontaneous accommodations or instruction. Teachers reported finding it challenging to access the resources they need to effectively practise CRE and to maintain ongoing communication with other school personnel and families. The implications of the findings are discussed to facilitate the development of age-appropriate CRE practices for kindergarten.
... These actions form a foundation as more complex understandings of social justice emerge. A number of researchers (Mackey and Lockie 2012;Zakin 2012;Gunn and de Vocht 2011;Hyland 2010;Phillips 2010) argue that social justice, caring and equity must be visible in everyday interactions between teachers, children, family and community. This research project brought researchers and teachers in early childhood programs together in order to explore how learning about social justice could be made more visible to children. ...
... Creative thinking and wondering about equity and social justice issues are powerful tools in drawing out the issues and supporting children in their thinking about social justice (Hyland 2010). Conversations between teachers and children involve both active listening and exchanging inner thoughts, wonderings and personal experience. ...
... In collaboration with one of the authors, Beverley followed up on Connor's interest in social justice issue by reading and discussing picture books which had themes that could invoke discussion about different perspectives and injustices. At the first two workshops, teachers were given a reading about the above-mentioned study and two further readings to take away so that they could build their understandings of social justice and the use of picture books (Gunn and de Vocht 2011;Hyland 2010;Hawkins 2008). These articles, and the story from Beverley, enabled us to begin the conversations, and challenge our understandings about social justice and what agency might look like in the early childhood setting. ...
Article
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This study reports findings from an exploratory research project that contributed to an OMEP World Project on the importance of equality in being able to achieve a sustainable world and a healthy society. The teachers and researchers came together because of their interest in social justice to explore how they could support young children’s sense of agency and make learning about social justice more visible to children and their families. The project was carried out with teachers of children aged from 3 to 5 years in early childhood contexts of Aotearoa New Zealand. Five early childhood teachers participated in the research group which met five times over a 4-month period. As the teachers in the study became more familiar with how to support young children’s agency, they were able to engage in more sustained dialogue with children about social justice. Picture books were used as a tool to support children to express their views, and teachers also made this learning more visible through documentation of Learning Stories. In the research group, teachers provided examples of their practices within the reflective discussion groups held with the other teachers and the researchers. Teachers recognised that they could have an important role in supporting children’s sense of agency and awareness of social justice issues.
... Moreover, the four essential principles of diversity are described as equity, equality, integration, assimilation. Equity refers to ideas of fairness and social justice which may require challenging the dominant culture in order to provide di%erent treatment, or special measures (Hyland, 2010;Sarra, 2008). It is principally concerned with providing every learner with access to fair, just and non-discriminatory education and care. ...
... It is principally concerned with providing every learner with access to fair, just and non-discriminatory education and care. Equalization refers to the same conduct in communication and contact, quantity or values for all individuals or groups to ensure that they experience equal opportunities, treatment, and welfare (Hyland, 2010). Integration refers to process or status of interweaving a diverse community of learners that transform their lives, through a comprehensive and synergetic approach of embracing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all concerned. ...
... In the last phase, students participated in self and peer assessment to evaluate their learning. This practice resonate the principles of equity and integration of inclusion (Hyland, 2010;Sarra, 2008) as students' voices were heard and their perspectives were integrated for creating assessment methods. Moreover, this practiced encouraged students from diverse backgrounds to come closer and interact and know about each other. ...
... As the most senior professors in a large North American teacher education program geared mostly for preservice teacher preparation, we acknowledge the tremendous intellectual work of preservice teachers as we attempt to shift their worldviews to more just, global, and cognizant positions (Hyland, 2010;Kroeger, 2015;Lash and McMullen, 2008). In this article we share a field-based social action project (SAP) from our own teaching to implementation and describe the evolution of the types of problems targeted in the SAP. ...
... Students do not learn about culturally diverse or low-income communities simply as worthy of charitable good; instead, they learn to acknowledge that they view difference through the lenses of privilege and judgment, and must revise seeing difference as faulty or deficit to a nondeficit perspective. Reinterpreting service learning's enhanced sense of civic duty, we hope our students ultimately see their place as teachers, working for a just society instead of unknowingly allowing forms of learning from culture to be reproduced in oppressive ways in their young learners (Boutte, 2008;Boutte et al., 2011;Hyland, 2010). ...
... How do we teach in a way that informs learners that justice should be understood as fairness (Rawls, 1971)? Will awareness of these structures empower learners to participate in transformation of oppressive conditions (Hyland, 2010;Lash and McMullen, 2008)? Does awareness move students to reject the status quo and become action oriented (Castner, 2015; McDermott, 2017)? ...
Article
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In this article, we share a social action process useful in teacher education and derived from a decade of practical experience with social action projects. Influences, theoretical underpinnings, and individual leadership in an early childhood teacher education program are considered alongside practical enactments of social action projects by preservice teachers in their licensure program. One particular type of field-based assignment, the social action project, is described and analyzed. An examination of program transformations expanding the social justice framework to include more global perspectives, such as the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program, shaped and challenged our earlier notions of working to address isms to frame justice and advocate for children in larger social and educational networks. We suggest what social action should and can entail in teacher education for an interdependent world and offer a gradient of social action for justice in early childhood education practices and environments.
... Family backgrounds, class, religion, gender, and ethnic origin should not be obstacles to education achievement for students, but they do sometimes hinder them. Failure to provide quality education undermines the human dignity of our students as we acknowledge that children from nondominant homes such as children from non-white and immigrant families often suffer educational disadvantages ( Hyland, 2010). Social justice promotes a just society where individuals experience equitable treatment. ...
... Also, included in diversity are culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class and immigration. Research analysts predict that students from minority racial groups will make up over half of the school-aged population by 2050, but these students continue to score lower on standardized test, are included in the high number of dropouts, experience high rates of expulsions, and high percentages of referral for special education services ( Hyland, 2010). While considering these issues, it is imperative that educators continue to develop practices that address the educational injustices experienced by the children; teachers should implement best practices conducive to creating a more just learning environment (Hyland). ...
Article
Full-text available
... Family backgrounds, class, religion, gender, and ethnic origin should not be obstacles to education achievement for students, but they do sometimes hinder them. Failure to provide quality education undermines the human dignity of our students as we acknowledge that children from nondominant homes such as children from non-white and immigrant families often suffer educational disadvantages ( Hyland, 2010). Social justice promotes a just society where individuals experience equitable treatment. ...
... Also, included in diversity are culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class and immigration. Research analysts predict that students from minority racial groups will make up over half of the school-aged population by 2050, but these students continue to score lower on standardized test, are included in the high number of dropouts, experience high rates of expulsions, and high percentages of referral for special education services ( Hyland, 2010). While considering these issues, it is imperative that educators continue to develop practices that address the educational injustices experienced by the children; teachers should implement best practices conducive to creating a more just learning environment (Hyland). ...
... Learner diversity hinges on the following four major principles, namely: equity, equalization, integration and inclusion. Equity refers to ideas of fairness and social justice which may require challenging the dominant culture in order to provide different treatments, or special measures (Hyland, 2010;Sarra, 2008). It is principally concerned with providing every learner with access to fair, just and non-discriminatory education and care. ...
... It is principally concerned with providing every learner with access to fair, just and non-discriminatory education and care. Equalization refers to the same conduct in communication and contact, quantity or values for all individuals or groups to ensure that they experience equal opportunities, treatment, and welfare (Hyland, 2010). Integration refers to the process or status of interweaving a diverse community of learners that transforms their lives through a comprehensive and synergetic approach of embracing a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all concerned. ...
Article
Situated in the first stage of Lewin’s Change Management Model (Lewin, 1947), this study examined the strategic communication plan needed to enable Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) to embrace learner diversity via diversity engagement. Participants were 56 academics from 14 public and two private universities in Malaysia who attended the Learner Diversity training module at the Higher Education Leadership Academy (AKEPT) between the periods from 2014 to 2015. During the training sessions, participants were asked to diagnose the existing communication strategies of their respective universities that concerned learner diversity, and to suggest ways to fulfill the mission of driving diversity in their respective universities. Each participant wrote three series of reflective writings and these created a total database of 168 reflective notes. The data were analyzed using the six phases of thematic analysis proposed by Braun and Clarke (2006). The findings have identified three main themes for a strategic communication planning approach: (1) re-examining the institutional mission statement on inclusive diversity practices, (2) changing the mindset of academe, and (3) starting with small steps when introducing change in embracing learner diversity. This study served as one of the baseline studies conducted at the national level to comprehend the potential of a strategic communication planning process in HEIs from the perspectives of employees.
... Despite evidence from scholars debunking the idea that social justice topics are inappropriate for children (Fennimore & Goodwin, 2011;Hyland, 2010), in our study, teachers identified three factors that contributed to their belief that CRP and social justice topics in particular were inappropriate for children. These factors were the belief that children do not have the cognitive understanding to grasp social justice concepts, that children could be emotionally hurt by discussion of these topics, and that developmentally appropriate approaches were not possible in CRP. ...
Article
Culturally relevant pedagogy receives limited attention in many U.S. dual language classrooms. This article focuses on understanding the barriers eight elementary Spanish-English dual language teachers saw as preventing the implementation of culturally relevant pedagogy in their urban classrooms. Employing critical sociocultural theory and drawing on pláticas as a method, four primary barriers were identified: lack of time, lack of culturally relevant materials, lack of knowledge, and the belief that social justice topics were inappropriate for young children. The individual and contextual issues surrounding these barriers and their implications are discussed for teacher educators and those involved in dual language education. Free e-print link: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/wZK8ZDc4ZFGWKawaE7KW/full
... Scott (2009) argues that delivering vivid learning experiences to online learners requires a sense of belonging, of immediacy, and a strong learning environment. There is a distinct difference between ICT-based learning opportunities in the developed countries and those of Saudi Arabia (Hyland, 2010). Internet services are limited in Arabic countries due to the government monopolies over the telecommunications sector, resulting in higher prices (Kian-Sam & Songan, 2011). ...
Article
Education remains one of the most important economic development indicators in Saudi Arabia. This is evident in the continuous priority of the development and enhancement of education. The application of technology is crucial to the growth and improvement of the educational system in Saudi Arabia. Introducing SMART Table technology in the Saudi Arabian education system is argued in this paper as being able to assist teachers and students in the process of accommodating both technological changes and new knowledge. SMART Tables also can enhance the level of flexibility in the educational system, thus improving the quality of education within a modern Saudi Arabia. It is crucial to integrate technology effectively and efficiently within the educational system to improve the quality of student outcomes. This study will consider the potential benefits and recommendations associated with the adoption of SMART Tables in Saudi Arabian education system.
... These conversations assume that language and power are coexisting, cooperating variables that impact the world students live in, and that discussions of power must always be central to conversations about literacy and language (Luke, 2012). Hyland (2010) explains that critical literacy does not limit its focus to local marginalized groups, but instead investigates justice as it applies to multiple categories including race, gender, sexual orientation, and more. Lewison, Flint, and Van Sluys (2002) describe a framework of critical literacy consisting of four dimensions: (1) disrupting the commonplace, (2) interrogating multiple viewpoints, (3) focusing on sociopolitical issues, and (4) taking action and promoting social justice (p. ...
Article
The purpose of this study was to measure students’ experiences of engagement as conceptualized by flow during a critical literacy unit in a 6th grade English Language Arts class. A total of 61 respondents replied to an 18-item survey consisting of 14-Likert scaled items, one identifier, two open-ended questions, and one multiple-choice question three times a day for five days. In addition, respondents completed a 7-item survey consisting of one identifier, three demographic questions, and three Likert-scaled items. All respondents were sixth grade students at a middle school just outside of a large city in the Southeastern United States. Items on the survey were adapted from the Sloan Study of Youth and Social Development (2009) to measure students’ experience of flow conditions, students’ experience of the internal dimensions of flow, and students’ emotions in the moment. A two-tailed paired samples t test revealed that students experienced higher levels of flow in the critical literacy unit than in general Language Arts. Using Pearson’s correlation, positive correlations were found between the conditions of flow (success, importance, skill, autonomy, and focus) and the flow experience. In additions, a negative correlation was found between the challenge skill balance of a task and the flow experience. Results indicate that students’ experience of flow in the critical literacy unit was significantly increased from the baseline data. In addition, the easier the students found the assigned task, the higher students’ flow experiences were. Several significant correlations were found among the conditions of flow: importance and skill, and success and skill. A multiple linear regression was modeled to predict flow based on Skill, Challenge, Success, Autonomy, Importance, and Focus. Success and importance were significant predictors of flow while other conditions were not significant. In order to measure how students’ engagement levels change over a period of class, a repeated measures ANOVA was conducted on the flow variables from each survey. No significant difference was found for students’ flow experiences throughout the week. To measure students’ changes in flow over a class period, a repeated measures ANOVA was conducted for each day using the three composite variables measuring flow. A significant difference was found only for Day 1 of the survey. Finally, in order to measure how students’ engagement levels differed based on the type of task, composite variables of flow were created for tasks based on whether students were consuming text, creating text, or reflecting on their experience. Again, no significant difference was found. The present findings suggest that students experience flow during critical literacy practices in a sixth grade classroom due to flow conditions being met. Further research is needed to determine what qualities of critical literacy practices or the classroom environment create these conditions in students. In addition, future research is needed to identify how specific students engage in critical literacy. KEY WORDS: Critical Literacy, Student Engagement, Flow
... Because of this approach, Ms. Ellen was better equipped to integrate her students' backgrounds and culture into her teaching and use them as a basis for how she approached the curriculum. Her dedication to brain-based learning and safe environments(Hyland, 2010) allowed her to "disrupt the power structure, where some students and voices are privileged over others"(McAllister-Flack & McAllister, 2016, p. 143). She believed that "creating a society and classroom that is more socially just starts with children who feel empowered"(McAllister-Flack & McAllister, 2016, p. 144). ...
Article
Research shows that there are disparities in academic outcomes between students living in poverty and those who are not. Poverty will affect all areas of a child’s life. There is potential that with increased poverty education in schools, students will come to better understand their role in the causes and consequences of poverty, and in working to eradicate poverty. Eighty- six undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Maine participated in this study. Participants completed a survey designed to gain insights into their recollection of poverty education during their primary and secondary school years. Results showed that enrolled students did not recall receiving education about poverty. Implications for practices and future research are also discussed.
... Equity does not mean offering the same experiences to everyone per se. Rather, in its comprehensive scope, it means that it must provide diverse opportunities characterized by justice and freedom of choice based on the needs and inclinations of each individual in order to contribute to their development as intended, which will subsequently be reflected in the development of society (Hyland, 2010;Sarra, 2008). ...
... EC/ECSE educators are in an ideal position to disrupt ideologies about normalcy through the curriculum they teach and through the pedagogies they use (Robinson & Diaz, 2009). Rejecting the notion that children can ever be too young to understand issues such as prejudice, social justice educators make a case for pedagogies in EC/ ECSE that address biases in schools and society (Derman-Sparks, 2008;Hyland, 2010;Nieto, 1999). However, there is little attention to the ways that young children begin to construct ideas about people with disabilities, and anti-bias programs in schools have historically neglected the role of ableism (Lalvani, 2015). ...
... Teachers' use of agency is important to supporting culturally relevant pedagogies inspired by the teacher, children, or surrounding communities. Culturally relevant pedagogies require critically reflective educators who continually consider the ways in which their pedagogical practices are strengthbased and reflective of the diversity of children's ways of knowing and doing, such as in relation to their ethnic, racial, and linguistic backgrounds (Hyland, 2010). When teachers can use agency in their classrooms, they can better resist standardization by bringing children's funds of knowledge into the early childhood curriculum. ...
Chapter
Amidst the ongoing impacts of systemic and personally-experienced discrimination in many young children’s lives, addressing issues of social justice and equity remains an urgent concern in early childhood education (ECE) settings. In this chapter, we respond to this concern by reviewing recent scholarship that has described and critically interrogated sources of injustice and inequality in children’s early learning contexts. We also discuss some ways in which the ECE field has sought to address the need for equity and justice for all children in their early schooling experiences.
... al 2012). Some researchers link this to social privilege (Mashburn, 2008, Hyland, 2010. Others find that despite a finding a direct causal effect between reading to young children and their consequent literacy, language and other cognitive skills, this is not linked to social background. ...
Conference Paper
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Children begin learning language at home, though listening and observing, by practising what they see and hear. They play what they see and what they hear. They use both projected play with dolls, toy animals and action figures, and personal play where they become the teacher, parent, Batman or Wonder Woman (Slade, 1954). They try out the roles and the words they hear in ‘make believe’ scenarios of their own creation - as both director and playwright. Unlike adults they do this unconsciously, because play is fun (Warren & Spitzer, 2014). By exploring these scenarios, they slowly embody the new knowledge in their bones. This paper focuses on the need to return creativity, improvisation, imagination and embodied learning to today’s bilingual, multicultural classrooms. It presses for the need to let students explore language, to try on the words in different contexts, to use language to interact with others, to make mistakes in a safe environment and to try on the culture without being overly stigmatised or traumatised. By discussing illustrative exercises that can be used in many types of multilingual classroom, the authors explore how, by actually experiencing learning, as part of an engaging and immersive curriculum, it sinks into the bones of learner, and is more easily recalled. ‘Whole body’ engagement, learning by doing and experiencing, as children do in early childhood, as opposed to an over-emphasis on abstract cognition, recognizes that human experience helps the foreign language learning process. Key words: embodied language, educational drama, multicultural classrooms, language learning, CLIL
... Teachers' use of agency is important to supporting culturally relevant pedagogies inspired by the teacher, children, or surrounding communities. Culturally relevant pedagogies require critically reflective educators who continually consider the ways in which their pedagogical practices are strengthbased and reflective of the diversity of children's ways of knowing and doing, such as in relation to their ethnic, racial, and linguistic backgrounds (Hyland, 2010). When teachers can use agency in their classrooms, they can better resist standardization by bringing children's funds of knowledge into the early childhood curriculum. ...
Article
This chapter begins by contextualizing recent changes to early childhood curriculum and instruction by focusing on how some changes have negatively impacted young children's classroom experiences. It demonstrates the disproportionality of these impacts on children from socioeconomically, racially, and linguistically marginalized communities. The chapter describes the dominant discourses that often legitimize practices that limit the early learning experiences of young children of color. It discusses responses in the scholarly literature that have attempted to construct and make visible alternative views about children. The chapter highlights critical theoretical perspectives that can disrupt silences and inform curricular and pedagogical approaches in addressing issues of social justice and equity in early learning contexts. It also discusses some ways in which the early childhood care and education field has sought to address the need for equality and justice for all children in their early schooling experiences.
... Many parents noted that the positive effects of school choice are comprised of educational success, awareness development for child ECE schooling of parents, and improvement of the social capital. Hyland (2010) and Nieuwenhuis (2011) also argue that social justice and school performance are developed through the school choice process as all the parents of children have the opportunity to partake in early education, and the school choice process enables the schools to consider further development of the quality of their services. Even though parents stated that the social peer anxiety and social justice is important to choose school, which is consistent with the research findings of Hackman (2005), most of the parents who contributed to this research assumed that social justice among the demographics limits parents from actively participating in ECE in Bangladeshi. ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Universally, research shows that early childhood education (ECE) contributes to children’s development in the very early years. Governments among developed countries subsidize an ample amount of money for children’s early education development to generate and enhance human capital. Consequently, in developing countries like Bangladesh, ECE is driven by the family, where family socio-economic condi- tions make a significant contribution to children’s transition from home to school, and to ensure their children begin school at a very early age. This qualitative case study explores parental socio-economic aspirations and the phenomena of ECE initiatives by the government for child transitions from home to schools in Bangladesh. This empirical research contributes by placing parental aspirations for child schooling and focusing on the information-gathering actions by parents in line with the social conditions that inspire parents to choose schools for their children.
... Connected interactions incorporate the non-school language practices of young Latinos to build relationships with peers, teachers, and the content (Garcia, 2005). Teachers and children in connected classrooms talk with each other about their out-of-school lives-their routines, hobbies, interests, responsibilities, and family traditions (Weisner, 2002)-as well as issues of bias and discrimination (Hyland, 2010). They acknowledge, respect, and appreciate their differences (Cohen & Lotan, 1995), and the teacher often associates out-of-school experiences with the learning objectives of instructional activities. ...
Article
Debates continue about how to teach young Latinos and other minoritized children in the US. Latinos are a compelling case because of (1) their size and (2) their paradoxical development: strong social competencies yet relatively weak academic development. A suggestion is to provide young Latinos with classroom experiences that resonate with the ways they are socialized at home, yet cultural dimensions of teaching in early education are underspecified and reliable and valid measures do not exist. We frame equitable teacher–child interactions as the combination of generic and cultural aspects, and as a way to utilize the social assets of Latinos in classrooms to enhance their academic development. We refine an observation protocol—the Classroom Assessment of Sociocultural Interactions (CASI)—by integrating cultural concepts from the Learning by Observing and Pitching In (LOPI) paradigm with videos of K-1 classrooms in Central Mexico, and conduct a series of psychometric analyses. We find good model fit and moderate reliability for the CASI and discuss research and practice implications to foster equitable developmental opportunities for Latino children across early education settings.
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Women are underrepresented in science fields as compared to men and although much research has been dedicated to understanding this disparity, most has been conducted on older aged children. However, this excludes the youngest and arguably most impressionable group of students: preschoolers. This study reviewed the literature to investigate how early childhood teachers’ perceptions of gender influence their teaching practices. Qualitative analysis and coding of 31 articles resulted in five main categories: Teacher Perception, Curriculum, Teacher Interactions, Gender Identity, and Social Standing. Results are discussed in the context of early childhood science teaching practices to better understand the role of the teacher and gender bias in young children’s preschool science experiences and how it may impact their future science interests.
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This article explores how a preschool writing community in an inclusive classroom provided the space for children to enact a critical literacy stance when they reconceptualized jail from being a place where “bad” people are taken to a place that people are sometimes placed because they perform acts of social justice. This case study highlights how conversations that are authentic and meaningful to children can be utilized by other children with different perspectives to scaffold each other’s learning. Structuring classroom environments to be inclusive allows students to bring their strengths to an activity while supporting new learning for others in their community.
Article
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This article examines how creativity and the arts can assist teachers who teach from a social justice perspective, and how knowledge built through meaningful experiences of difference can make a difference. Just as imagining is central to visual arts practice, so too is the capacity to imagine a necessity for social justice. The authors ask what art can do, and how art can work, to bring about greater understandings and practices around social justice and the early years. A version of social justice that is built on a recognition of differences requires the capacity to be sensitive to the multiple voices that need to be heard, and the ability to imagine how lives might be lived differently. The arts can provide powerful means for thinking social justice, and the experiences described in this article can have application in addressing social justice in the professional preparation of prospective teachers. Three teacher educators who teach from a social justice perspective apply a collective biography methodology to their stories of art activity. Data was collected from three sites: transcripts, notes and digital images from a salon evening; ethnographic observations, field notes and artefacts from a school classroom; and a/r/tographic data generated in a university art classroom. The data was analysed using Foucault and the conceptual work of other post-structuralist philosophies in order to explore how aesthetic and creative artistic activity could excite imaginations and open up multiple possibilities for richer forms of educational outcomes — for teacher educators, their students and, ultimately, for young children.
The concept of social justice and critical thinking are prevalent topics in conversations about early childhood education. Usually, critical conversations around these practices tend to involve academics in discussion rather than include practitioners. In today’s world, young children are frequently confronted with the realities of violence and tragedy. It is through critical pedagogy in critical-thinking classroom communities that children are able to develop empowered, thoughtful, agentive perspectives on these experiences that shape their lives. This article addresses an important intersection in social justice in early childhood: a critical perspective from the stance of a practitioner. As a preschool teacher, the author situates herself as a critical participant in the practice of social justice and critical awareness in her classroom as she and her students work to make sense of the Boston Marathon bombings. The author examines the dimensions of this practice, addressing not just what to teach, but how critical awareness might evolve in a classroom community. The interweaving of theory and practice, of research and daily reality, offers an essential perspective on the evolution of critical perspectives that support and empower the voices of young children.
Chapter
These were the words I shared with a group of kindergarten teachers who participated in a kindergarten summer course I was teaching. The North Star (Reynolds, 2009) had fortuitously arrived on my doorstep the night before our last class. As I read it, I knew it would be the perfect book to initiate a conversation about where each of us were situated in our own journey as teachers.
Chapter
The authors explore three practices that foster a more socially just perspective in a kindergarten classroom. These include the role of one’s philosophy undergirding a social justice way of life; the creation and maintenance of a just and caring classroom community, and the connection of curriculum, pedagogy, and classroom community to local culture. These practices counter the deficit perspective of both the young children and their communities. These topics will be explored through the stories of a veteran Kindergarten teacher who has taught in various diverse communities. The end of the chapter will generalize from the stories to a list of suggested practices.
Chapter
Most people involved with early childhood education would claim that they are working towards social justice, especially for the children. In this chapter, the concept of social justice is explored, in general, and in early childhood, in particular. The chapter then moves to consider the process of transition to school and how it can provide both opportunities and challenges in terms of social justice. Using a rights-based and strengths-based methodological approach, the tensions created when the notion of social justice for all involved is enacted during transition to school processes are considered. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the accompanying General Comment 7, which emphasises the relevance of the CRC for young children, has declared that every child has a right to an education from birth through primary school. However, declaring something and enacting it are often different things. In both developed and developing countries, there are many young children who do not have access to such quality education and for whom transition to school serves mainly to reinforce their position, and that of their families, at the bottom of the social and economic ladders.
Chapter
This chapter reviews the impact early experiences with family involvement have on young children and their families, early childhood programs, and teachers. The author discusses the growing demand for early childhood services, characterized by a growing and changing society. There is discussion of developmentally appropriate practices and the ethical conduct of early childhood teachers as they navigate issues of social justice related to family involvement and engagement. The author presents findings from a recent pilot study to illustrate the successes and challenges experienced by eight diverse early childhood programs as they reflected on their family involvement practices. The author also emphasizes the importance of promoting equity and celebrating diversity through family involvement practices including examples, successes, and challenges that may arise.
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Wirksamer als traditionelle Werteerziehung für die Entwicklung moralisch handelnder Kinder und Jugendlicher ist ein anderer Ansatz: die möglichst frühe Förderung von günstigen Verhaltensdispositionen und emotionalen, kognitiven und sozialen Kompetenzen, die ein automatisiertes prosoziales Verhalten herbeiführen, das gesellschaftlichen Moralerwartungen entspricht. Besonders Risikogruppen können davon profitieren. Zu den zumindest in einem gewissen Maße (sozial)pädagogisch förderbaren Verhaltensdispositionen und Kompetenzen gehört, was Kinder gesund, sicher, resilient, entspannt, risikobewusst, intelligent, selbstbestimmt und -kontrolliert, fair, einfühlsam, hilfsbereit, kooperativ und konfliktfähig macht. Dafür gibt es international viele (sozial)pädagogische Programme, die in Deutschland allerdings noch zu selten wissenschaftlich genau auf ihre Wirksamkeit untersucht wurden. Die wissenschaftsbasierte Programmentwicklung und -evaluation bleiben eine dringliche Herausforderung.
Article
In this article, you will read about three early childhood justice-oriented teachers and the ways in which they develop pedagogy and curriculum that is deeply invested in the histories of their students as well as inclusive of their voices and lived experiences. The goal of this article is to contribute to a growing body of scholarship on social justice in early childhood education by highlighting the intricate and complex ways teachers create practices and pedagogies to encourage young children toward developing critical perspectives and thinking critically about the world around them.
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Much of the educational literature highlights the importance of teaching young children about the value of diversity in relation to fostering positive social–emotional skills and well-being. In the Trinidadian context, while ample work addresses the prevalence of racism, far less research has investigated the racial socialization practices of Caribbean teachers in general and Trinidadian teachers in particular. The present qualitative study investigated how Indo-Trinidadian teachers addressed children’s racial awareness, cultivated racial pride in young children and enacted anti-racist pedagogies. Findings revealed that teachers did not engage in explicit racial socialization; and the lack of anti-racist/anti-colonial pedagogy was strongly linked to teachers’ professional and personal identities; as well, it appeared that context-specific race relations inform educator’s conceptual understandings of race and its relevance to their teaching practice. The article concludes with suggestions for a decolonized early childhood education model for the Trinidadian context.
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A solid base of research evidence exists to show that teachers’ assessments of children are impacted by their perceptions of those children. From the Pygmalion in the Classroom experiment which powerfully showed that teacher expectations of students impacted those students’ performance, to more recent research on teachers’ underrating of children based on low SES, race, and language learner status, it is clear that what educators believe about their students has real implications for their educational outcomes. This article examines the learning climate for young children at the intersection of children's immigration status, disproportionality, and teacher perceptions, making an argument for classrooms that are humanizing and culturally sustaining. Given the large and ever growing population of young immigrant students, teachers need tools to develop positive climates within which all students can thrive. This article presents a framework of such tools that can be built into teacher preparation curricula to support the development of early childhood educators. Copyright © The College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University.
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This chapter reviews the impact early experiences with family involvement have on young children and their families, early childhood programs, and teachers. The author discusses the growing demand for early childhood services, characterized by a growing and changing society. There is discussion of developmentally appropriate practices and the ethical conduct of early childhood teachers as they navigate issues of social justice related to family involvement and engagement. The author presents findings from a recent pilot study to illustrate the successes and challenges experienced by eight diverse early childhood programs as they reflected on their family involvement practices. The author also emphasizes the importance of promoting equity and celebrating diversity through family involvement practices including examples, successes, and challenges that may arise.
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This article addresses the practices of multiculturalism and social justice as they are explored by an early childhood classroom. In response to the school requirement of participation in the Martin Luther King assembly, the children and their teachers seek to create a meaningful contribution reflective of the children’s voices and conceptions of justice and equality. The article examines classroom practices as children and teachers co-construct meaning around multiculturalism in early childhood. Through classroom research and discussion, the children develop their own concepts around these issues, finding meaningful ways to share their knowledge with the larger school community.
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