Monash University
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Critical multiculturalism: supporting early childhood teachers to work with diverse immigrant families

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journal contribution
posted on 2016-11-07, 22:05 authored by Chan, Angel
As early childhood settings in many English speaking countries are becoming increasingly multi-ethnic due to global migration, this poses challenges for many early childhood teachers who work with diverse immigrant children and families. In an effort to include all families, curriculum developers and teachers often suggest and incorporate teaching strategies that are commonly considered as culturally inclusive. While these strategies may be well intended, they may be promoting and reinforcing essentialist views of immigrants and their ethnicities, and also perpetuating social inequity. This article applies theoretical perspectives and research findings from literature relating to immigrant families' parental practices and expectations to problematise some of the dominant discourses that prevail in New Zealand early childhood education. It discusses the possible application of some theoretical concepts from the domains of critical multiculturalism to assist early childhood teachers to develop better understandings of the needs of immigrant children and families, and to generate critical pedagogies that are culturally sensitive and equitable.

International Research in Early Childhood Education, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 63-75