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ERIC Number: ED511898
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
Ethnographic Knowledge for Early Childhood
Adair, Jennifer Keys
Online Submission
The policy brief "Ethnographic Knowledge for Early Childhood" details the contributions of current ethnographic research in the area of early childhood education. The brief's main purpose is to demonstrate how ethnography (as a methodology) helps us better understand the context of early childhood programs, the types of settings and resources those programs and the families have, and the meanings, goals and intentions of teachers, parents, children and other stakeholders. To create this policy brief, ethnographic research on early learning was solicited from anthropologists and educational researchers and then used to generate a synopsis of current ethnographic work that has specific policy implications for early childhood education. Core findings from early childhood ethnographic work show that 1) Children's identities, relationships and understandings of schools and the world around them vary dramatically across contexts; 2) Parents, teachers and caretakers often feel disconnected from the policies that guide early childhood programs. And instead of collaboration and communication, parents and teachers struggle to work together even when they come from the same communities; 3) Early learning is most successful when programs and teachers build on children's cultural understanding of teaching and learning; 4) The same early childhood program or policy can have different outcomes depending on where it is located and who is participating; and 5) Global, comparative perspectives can contribute new understandings and possibilities for U.S. early childhood policies. Collectively these studies and findings are meant to demonstrate how ethnographic studies can be utilized effectively to make early childhood programs more successful for children, parents and teachers. This policy brief was sponsored by the Council on Anthropology and Education in collaboration with the Anthropology of Children and Childhood Interest Group, both part of the American Anthropological Association. In addition, researchers conducting ethnographies were included from Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood Education, a special interest group within the American Educational Research Association. [This brief was prepared for the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Early Learning and was sponsored by the Council of Anthropology and Education in collaboration with the Anthropology of Children and Childhood Interest Group of the American Anthropology Association.]
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education; Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States