"Everybody's different and the same": an inquiry into early childhood teachers' beliefs, knowledge, and practices in relation to children from culturally diverse backgrounds

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Victoria Kintner-Duffy (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Advisor
Catherine Scott-Little

Abstract: In investigations of early childhood teacher preparation, there is little information provided regarding teachers' preparation to work with culturally diverse populations (Early & Winton, 2001). The purpose of this mixed-method inquiry was to examine the relationships among teachers' preparation, beliefs, knowledge, and classroom practices as they work with culturally diverse children. The quantitative results demonstrated that teachers' beliefs predicted their knowledge, but not their observed or reported practices. Moreover, teachers' knowledge predicted their reported classroom practices with children from diverse cultures, but not their observed practices. The qualitative results showed that teachers' believe children to be simultaneously "all the same", but "have different needs". This was seen in their practices as they would try to "treat everyone the same", but incorporate only surface level changes to the classroom. These results also highlight that teachers' felt their personal and professional experiences were more influential to their classroom practices than their educational experiences. Overall, these results demonstrate a need for increased exposure to children and families from diverse cultural backgrounds, combined with increased personal, professional, and educational support for teachers. Implications for teacher preparation, policy, and research are discussed.

Additional Information

Publication
Dissertation
Language: English
Date: 2011
Keywords
Culturally diverse children, Mixed-methods, Preschool, Teacher education
Subjects
Multicultural education $z United States
Preschool teaching $z United States
Education $x Study and teaching