Diversity in teaching and learning: Practitioners' perspectives in a multicultural early childhood setting in Australia
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Published by Early Childhood Australia INC; www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au
Encounters with dominant sociocultural values begin with the early childhood classroom setting. This qualitative study reported the perceptions that early childhood educators in an Australian setting had of their culturally diverse classrooms and the pedagogic practices they implemented to address the needs of the children from diverse cultural backgrounds in their care. Findings highlighted the dilemmas that teachers face in trying to value and preserve children's background cultures while at the same time enabling transition into the new dominant culture. Teachers in the study sometimes viewed children's previous cultural backgrounds as a burden, being preoccupied with conformity into the dominant culture. At the same time, they were concerned for students who were not performing to curriculum standards and fearful of not meeting their own expectations, those of the system and those of the children's parents.
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