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ERIC Number: EJ1014868
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1068-3844
Perceptions of Culturally Diverse Head Start Families: A Focus Group Study
Riley, Jeanetta G.; Gichuru, Margaret; Robertson, Jo
Multicultural Education, v20 n1 p33-37 Fall 2012
Teachers who embrace culturally relevant practices support children's learning by infusing "cultural referents" into the curriculum to provide children with learning opportunities that are related to their experiences outside of the classroom. They strive to establish congruency between home, community, and school and to use knowledge of children's cultures when designing environments and experiences, thus helping children connect school to their own identities and lives (Ladson-Billings, 2009). Therefore, culturally relevant teaching practices in early childhood environments go beyond the addition of materials and props from various countries (Meece & Wingate, 2009/2010). Teachers who intentionally implement culturally relevant practices learn about the children as individuals, including their social and cultural backgrounds (Gay, 2000), to create classrooms based on equity, justice, and high expectations for all children (Ladson-Billings, 2009). Taking time to listen to families and to build relationships with families can help teachers gain insight into children's cultures (Banks & Banks, 1993; Durand, 2010). The purpose of this focus group study was to investigate the cultural relevance of Head Start classrooms as perceived by culturally diverse families using the following guiding question: Are young children's backgrounds and cultures reflected in Head Start classrooms from the family perspective? Subquestions included: (1.) Do culturally diverse families perceive their Head Start child's classroom experiences as culturally relevant for their child? (2.) How do culturally diverse families perceive their role in determining classroom activities and curriculum for their Head Start child? (3.) How do culturally diverse families perceive communication with their child's Head Start teacher? The data suggest that these parents trusted the teachers and staff to do what was best for their children. Further research is needed to study how teachers view the role of culturally relevant experiences in Head Start classrooms, the prevalence of culturally relevant experiences within Head Start classrooms, and the methods Head Start teachers use to learn about families' beliefs, values, and cultures to be able to enhance children's learning. (Contains 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: Preschool Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A