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: Intentional and Transformative Early Childhood Teacher Education Practices: Preparing Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teachers to Work with.

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Presentation on theme: ": Intentional and Transformative Early Childhood Teacher Education Practices: Preparing Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teachers to Work with."— Presentation transcript:

1 : Intentional and Transformative Early Childhood Teacher Education Practices: Preparing Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teachers to Work with Diverse Young Children and their Families Sylvia Y. Sanchez, Ed. D. George Mason University ssanche2@gmu.edu October 25, 2013 Erikson Institute, Chicago

2 Who are Our Children? Population of children entering school who are growing up with two languages has grown by 40% in last decade (Garcia & Jensen, 2009) American schools are educating approximately 11 million children of immigrants About 5.5 million students, 10 percent of public school enrollment, speak little to no English

3 Who Are Our Children? 75% of DLLs are Spanish-speakers and live in poverty (García, O., Kleifgen, J.A. & Falchi, L., 2008) 59% of Latino DLLs drop out of high school, while 15% of Latinos proficient in English drop out of high school (Fry, 2003) In some parts of the country more than 50% of the PreK population come from non-English-speaking homes Children of color are the majority of students enrolled in all of the largest 5 school districts (National Center for Education Statistics, 2000)

4 Who Are The Teachers? Increase in the diversity of the children can be juxtaposed with the decreasing diversity found in the teaching pool (Becket, 1998; Henke, Choy, Gies, & Broughman, 1996) Low enrollment of individuals from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds in Colleges of Education (Campbell-Whatley, 2003; Sleeter, 2001) Dearth of faculty members from under-represented populations in institutions of higher education (American Council on Education and the Education Commission of the States, 1988) Low numbers alert us to the lack of representation in teacher education between individual practitioners, the higher education faculty pool, and the children and families they serve

5 What We Know? Preservice teachers enter programs with biases and assumptions about children and families with cultures and languages different from their own and a limited understanding of diversity (Sanchez & Thorp, 2008, 2009, 2010; Kidd, Sánchez, & Thorp, 2001, 2002a, 2002b, 2004a, 2004b, 2005,2008; Sleeter, 2001). Attitudes and beliefs contribute to how preservice teachers perceive their students’ diversity and influence their teaching practices (Thorp & Sanchez, 2006; Lazar, 2001). It is possible for teachers with cultures different from their students to provide effective instruction when they approach teaching in a way that is responsive to the cultural and linguistic diversity of their students (Au & Kawakami, 1994).

6 What do we know about Teacher Preparation and Diversity? Teacher preparation program experiences have limited effects on preservice teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about cultural diversity (Cochran-Smith, Davis, & Fries, 2004) Current approaches to coursework designed to promote multicultural education have little impact on preservice teachers (Cochran-Smith, 2003; Vavrus, 2002). There are a limited but growing number of studies that provide evidence of program experiences that appear to be making a difference (Lenski, Crawford, Crumpler, & Stallworth, 2005).

7 Teacher On Educating All Children “If we are to successfully educate all of our children, we must work to remove the blinders built by stereotypes, monocultural instructional methodologies, ignorance, social distance, biased research, and racism” (Preservice Teacher)

8 Who are Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teachers (CLRT) CLRTs use the cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters move relevant to and effective for them. They teach to and through the strengths of these students. Their teaching is culturally validating and affirming. (Gay, 2000)

9 Revised Head Start Multicultural Principles Every individual is rooted in their culture and language; Every individual has the right to maintain his or her own identity while acquiring the skills required to function in a diverse society; and Effective programs for children who speak languages other than English require development of the first language while the acquisition of English is facilitated.

10 Considerations for Teacher Educators and Trainers Accept the challenge to analyze and discuss controversial and difficult issues Engage in a process of self-study and critical reflection Commit to the idea of infusing the voices of diverse families and communities in the instructional arena Reach out to potential Allies and establish new collaborations Recruit and support diverse faculty and trainers Commit to the recruitment of a diverse practitioner pool Embrace developmental adult learning principles Rethink our comfortable knowledgebase and area of expertise, and learn new content (Sánchez & Thorp, 2007)

11 From the field: CECER-DLL Recommendations Need for new critical conceptual framework based on sociocultural, political, and historical perspectives Examining research based on deficit model, what are children and families lacking Comparison research methodology leads to assumptions, deficiencies, misinterpretations and biased conclusions Need for critical examination of policies and practices that are often based on the perception that DLL and their families have few or no strengths Critically examine research on DLLs’ language and literacy development

12 Current Review of Literature Castro, D. C., García, E. E., & Markos, A. M. (2013). Dual language learners: Research informing policy. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, Center for Early Care and Education—Dual Language Learners. http://cecerdll.fpg.unc.edu/sites/cecerdll.fpg.unc.e du/files/imce/documents/%232961_ResearchInfor mPolicyPaper.pdf http://cecerdll.fpg.unc.edu

13 Findings from Comprehensive Review of Research on DLLs: Language and Literature Development Finding: DLLs have two separate language systems from very early in life; the two languages influence each other, and DLLs are not negatively impacted from exposure to and use of two languages in early developmental years—in fact, there are many advantages associated with bilingualism

14 Second Key Finding: Language and Literacy Development Finding: Development of DLLs skill levels in the two languages vary depending on when they were exposed to each language and opportunities to use both languages

15 Third Key Finding: Language and Literacy Development Finding: When compared to monolinguals, DLLs’ language and literacy development differs in some important ways: --Phonological abilities: Infants are behind monolinguals, but make significant progress during preschool years and reach same skill level as monolingual English speaking peers during early grades --While DLLs’ vocabulary in their individual languages are smaller than monolinguals, when conceptual vocabularies in both language are combined DLLs’ vocabularies in both languages are often equal to monolinguals.

16 Fourth Key Finding: Language and Literacy Development Finding: With respect to overall literacy development, evidence suggests that DLLs enter preschool with literacy skills in English that are lower than those of monolinguals. More research needed on the specific factors that influence dual language development

17 Findings from Comprehensive Review of Research: Second Language Acquisition From four bodies of work: foreign language education, child language research, sociocultural studies, and psycholinguistics Studies involved wide range: Infants to adults Finding: Evidence suggest that strong home literacy practices in first language (L1) and strong L1 skills are characteristics of successful L2 acquisition experience

18 Key Finding: L2 Acquisition Finding: Effective teachers of English language learners are proficient in their students’ first language When this finding is applied to ECE setting with children developing dual language and literacy abilities, effective teachers and caregivers know and use all the languages of their young learners.

19 Key Finding: L2 Acquisition Finding: Younger learners typically take longer to become proficient in a second language Correlates to review by Hammer and colleagues: While DLLs are developing two languages from birth to age 5, they may need additional time to reach proficiency in their two languages

20 Findings: Cognitive and Social Benefits of Being Bilingual Enhanced ability to control their attention in nonverbal and linguistics tasks, such as math problem solving and use of vocabulary with meaning Enhanced access to working memory; inhibiting one language while using the other increases the efficiency of working memory Advanced abilities to problem solve, ex. Executive control functions like planning, rule acquisition, abstract thinking, and cognitive flexibility

21 Findings: Cognitive and Social Benefits of Being Bilingual Advantages related to creative and divergent thinking and symbolic reasoning, ex math and science. Metalinguistic awareness, cognitive flexibility and executive functions (Bialystok et al, 2005; Barac & Bialystok, 2013)

22 Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions Where do we start with preparation of early care and education practitioners?

23 Culture is the Lens We All have a Culture and it is the Lens Through which We See the World Meaning and Dimensions of Culture Critical Reflection in the Examination of Issues of Language and Culture Role of Home Language and the Interrelationship between Language and Culture

24 Intentionality of Purpose Examine and discuss difficult or controversial issues as they surface, particularly issues of race, class, power, privilege, and institutional barriers to change Learn directly from the voices of the families and community, not about them Ensure face to face contact in diverse communities Recruit and support a diverse teaching pool Encourage a process of critical reflection and self awareness Emphasize dialogue for critical reflection

25 Transformative Power of Stories: Changing Hearts and Minds

26 Power of Stories Stories are “A vehicle for representing ourselves to others” (Gay, 2000) “Important tool for proclaiming ourselves as cultural beings” (Dyson & Geneshi, 1994, p. 4)

27 Power of Stories Stories “frame the accounts of our cultural origins and our most cherished beliefs” (p. Bruner, 1996, p. 40) “People’s narratives and stories are important in truly understanding their experiences” (Ladson-Billings, 1999, p. 219).

28 We are our Stories To a great extent we are the stories we tell, and our memories of personal experiences are what give us a history and a sense of who we are--past, present, and future. ~Susan Engel (1994). The stories children tell.

29 Family Stories: Home Visits, Photos and Artifacts Entering the family's space with wonderment How did this family get to be in this place at this time? What is their immigration story? What is their courtship story? Who is in the family? What is their language story? What are their hopes and dreams for their children?

30 Family Stories: Assignments Story Box Language Story Early Childhood Memories Dilemmas Dialogue Journal Home Visits Storytelling of Family Story and Reflecting on own story See Handout for descriptions of some assignments for Birth-3 rd grade courses

31 Assignment: Autobiographical Language Story A SSIGNMENT FOR I NFANT AND T ODDLER C OURSE : In a separate section in your journal, write at least nine journal entries that focus on your language story and your reflections on language and literacy development. Use your stories to help you focus and examine (a) language and literacy practices at your internship site (required), (b) language and literacy development, language use, traditions/practices that emerge as you gather your focus family story (required), (c) your use of language, especially with the infants and toddlers and the families that you work with, (d) some of the challenges that you face in your interactions with diverse communities, (e) why certain class readings, issues, and topics related to language and literacy cause a pleasant or intense reaction in you, (f) and/or your own family's interaction style, both verbal and nonverbal. Write about the events, myths, and/or history that you remember or were told about your life as an infant and toddler as well as other personal stories that are pertinent to the topics. P URPOSE The purpose of the language story is to provide you with an opportunity to think and write critically about the beliefs, values and assumptions you hold about language and literacy development, to connect these views with your sociocultural history and memories, and to reflect on the language and literacy experiences you are encountering at your site and with your focus family. It is expected that the increased awareness of the views you bring to your work with diverse infants and toddlers and their families will help you understand the choices you make in your practices and the expectations you have for the children.

32 Assignment: Autobiographical Language Story A SSIGNMENT C ONTINUES : F ORMAT As this is a semester long teacher research project, create a section within your journal that is clearly labeled/tagged and includes the pages of your autobiographical language story. This section will expand as you add your stories and reflections. In each reflection, you should include (a) a brief description of the context or situation upon which you are reflecting, (b) your thoughts and reactions to and about the situation, (c) the story that comes up for you, and (d) your thoughts about how the story/experiences impacted your views and assumptions. At the end of the semester, re-read your entries and include an overall reflection about what you learned about yourself, language and literacy development, your assumptions about language and literacy that impacted your work as an early interventionist, and insights about language and literacy impacted by this semester's experiences, including coursework. I will be reading your developing work as you submit your journal. C RITERIA FOR E VALUATION 1. The nine reflections meet the guidelines outlined above. 2. Substantive thought, reactions, and ideas are evident in the reflections. 3. Various key personal and internship stories and dilemmas are included in reflections, including reactions to meeting with focus family for the first time. 4. Issues of inequity, power, and authority are examined. 5. Understanding of self is the primary basis for language story

33 Family Stories: Book Making & Storytelling Digital Storytelling: Child Development Children’s Books on Songs, Folktales, Routines, Special Events, etc Family Story Oral Storytelling Learning Book All About Me: At School, Home, With my friends, in the Playground Family Photo Album

34 Family Stories: Videos to Challenge Assumptions and Foster Understanding of Diverse Communities

35 Family Stories: Videos to Focus on Sociocultural Context and Loss

36 Finding Allies and Building Coalitions You can’t do this work alone; reach out and identify allies National Coalition Building Institute (http://www.ncbi.org/)http://www.ncbi.org/ Community organizations, higher education institutions, special interest groups in professional associations, community members Own institution

37 It Starts With You What WorksWhat Does Not Work Aware of own cultural lens Critical Self-Reflection Direct experience in and with diverse communities Engagement through dialogue Learn from diverse families, not about them Be willing to make mistakes Assume developmental approach to adult learning Training session on ‘Cultural Competence’ Isolation Always wanting to be comfortable

38 Conclusion Although by the end of the program most of the interns developed culturally responsive dispositions and teaching practices, their journeys differed considerably. Their stories revealed that interactions among readings about issues of race, culture, and poverty; internships at diverse sites; interactions with families; critical reflection; and dialogue and discussion contributed to their current attitudes, beliefs, and teaching practices.

39 Conclusion Interns shared many of these pivotal experiences, however, how they interacted and responded to the experiences varied among the interns. Therefore, it is important for teacher educators to provide ongoing opportunities for developing culturally and linguistically responsive dispositions and teaching practices throughout the entire teacher preparation program. Furthermore, issues of race, language and culture, poverty, and social justice must be an ongoing focus of these experiences.

40 Resources Training Material and Videos: Im, J., Osborn, C., Sánchez, S. Y., & Thorp, E. K. (2007). Cradling literacy: Building early language and literacy in young children birth to five. Washington, DC: ZERO TO THREE Press. ISBN: 9781934019009 Research Articles: Maude, S., Catlett, C., Moore, S., Sánchez, S. Y., Thorp, E. K., & Corso, R. (2010). Infusing diversity constructs in preservice teacher preparation: The impact of a systematic faculty development strategy. Infants & Young Children, 23(2), 103-121. Kidd, J. K., Sánchez, S. Y., & Thorp, E. K. (2008). Defining moments: Developing culturally responsive dispositions and teaching practices in early childhood preservice teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 24(2), 316-329. (Authors are listed in alphabetical order representing equal contribution) Kidd, J. K., Sánchez, S. Y., & Thorp, E. K. (2005). Cracking the challenge of changing dispositions: Changing hearts and minds through stories, narratives, and direct cultural interactions. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 26(4), 347-359. (Authors are listed in alphabetical order representing equal contribution) Kidd, J. K., Sánchez, S. Y., & Thorp, E. K. (2004). Gathering family stories: Facilitating preservice teachers’ cultural awareness and responsiveness. Action in Teacher Education, 26 (1), 64-73. (Authors are listed in alphabetical order representing equal contribution). Sánchez, S. Y. (1999). Learning from the stories of culturally and linguistically diverse families and communities: A sociohistorical lens. Remedial and Special Education, 20(6), 351-359.


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