her presentation [PPTX, 40pg]

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
[email protected]
October 25, 2013
Erikson Institute, Chicago
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
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,
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)
Who Are Our Children?
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
Who Are The Teachers?
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).
What We Know?
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).
What do we know about Teacher
Preparation and Diversity?
“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)
Teacher On Educating All Children
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)
Who are Culturally and Linguistically
Responsive Teachers (CLRT)
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.
Revised Head Start Multicultural
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
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)
Considerations for Teacher Educators
and Trainers
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
From the field: CECER-DLL
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.
Current Review of Literature
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
Findings from Comprehensive Review of
Research on DLLs: Language and Literature
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
Second Key Finding: Language and Literacy
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
Third Key Finding: Language and Literacy
Finding: With respect to overall literacy
development, evidence suggests that
DLLs enter preschool with literacy skills in
English that are lower than those of
More research needed on the specific
factors that influence dual language
Fourth Key Finding: Language and Literacy
From four bodies of work: foreign language
education, child language research,
sociocultural studies, and psycholinguistics
Studies involved wide range: Infants to
Finding: Evidence suggest that strong home
literacy practices in first language (L1) and
strong L1 skills are characteristics of
successful L2 acquisition experience
Findings from Comprehensive Review of
Research: Second Language Acquisition
Finding: Effective teachers of English language
learners are proficient in their students’ first
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
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
Key Finding: L2 Acquisition
Enhanced ability to control their attention in
nonverbal and linguistics tasks, such as
math problem solving and use of vocabulary with
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
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)
Findings: Cognitive and Social Benefits of
Being Bilingual
Knowledge, Skills and Dispositions
Where do we start with preparation of early care and education
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 is the Lens
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
Emphasize dialogue for critical reflection
Intentionality of Purpose
Transformative Power of Stories:
Changing Hearts and Minds
Stories are
“A vehicle for representing ourselves to
others” (Gay, 2000)
“Important tool for proclaiming ourselves
as cultural beings” (Dyson & Geneshi, 1994, p. 4)
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).
Power of 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.
We are our Stories
Entering the family's space with wonderment
How did this family get to be in this place at this
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
Family Stories: Home Visits, Photos and
Story Box
Language Story
Early Childhood Memories
Dialogue Journal
Home Visits
Storytelling of Family Story and Reflecting on
own story
See Handout for descriptions of some
assignments for Birth-3rd grade courses
Family Stories: Assignments
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.
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.
Assignment: Autobiographical Language Story
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.
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
Assignment: Autobiographical Language Story
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
Family Stories: Book Making &
Family Stories: Videos to Challenge
Assumptions and Foster Understanding of
Diverse Communities
Family Stories: Videos to Focus on
Sociocultural Context and Loss
You can’t do this work alone; reach out
and identify allies
 National Coalition Building Institute
 Community organizations, higher
education institutions, special interest
groups in professional associations,
community members
 Own institution
Finding Allies and Building Coalitions
What Works
Aware of own cultural lens
Critical Self-Reflection
Direct experience in and
with diverse communities
Engagement through
Learn from diverse
families, not about them
Be willing to make
Assume developmental
approach to adult learning
What Does Not Work
Training session on
‘Cultural Competence’
Always wanting to be
It Starts With You
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.
Interns shared many of these pivotal
experiences, however, how they interacted and
responded to the experiences varied among the
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.
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
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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