Culturally Responsive Teaching In Early Childhood Years
Australia has a strong immigration history and Sydney is a melting pot of cultures from all around the globe. It’s important to recognise and validate the cultures of children with a multicultural heritage in an early learning environment. The culturally responsive teaching method affirms the cultures of students and incorporates their cultures in multiple aspects of learning in meaningful ways. The culturally responsive teaching approach also encourages early childhood teachers to expect great results from children, no matter what their heritage is.
The effects of the culturally responsive teaching approach include more engagement from children, higher levels of motivation and a more profound connection to the learning process. Teaching strategies in the culturally responsive teaching approach are focused on incorporating learning resources from a wide variety of backgrounds. Furthermore, strategies are centered on building good relationships with parents so that a culturally receptive early childhood education is continued at home. Teachers are encouraged to learn about global cultures themselves in order to gain perspective on multiple viewpoints.
Multicultural Learning Resources
During literacy lessons, where children are learning to read and write, it’s important to expose students to new content areas. Books that are representative of children’s heritage will give them the chance to shift from a single cultural viewpoint and learn a global perspective. Expose children to multiple languages and let children help you pronounce words when reading bilingual books. This helps them feel valued and gives them a sense of contribution to the learning environment.
During times of transition, it can be a good idea to play music that reflects a child’s cultural community. Contemporary learning experiences can be enhanced by playing music that is popular at home.
If representation is used at any time, for example, during numeracy lessons, try to use objects that are familiar to children from a different cultural background. Doing this helps them engage in subjects that they may be initially resistant to.
Building Relationships With Parents
Culturally responsive teaching can be augmented by developing a positive relationships with parents from an international background. One method of nurturing a relationship with children’s parents is to distribute a survey at the beginning of the semester to ask about language, technology use and family activities at home. Consider offering the survey in multiple languages. If possible, offer translations of homework to children whose parents struggle with English at home. Invite parents to participate in activities and excursions at your centre. All of this will foster a nurturing respect for your teaching method and will help kids engage to a more effective degree in their home environment.
Teachers, Become Learners
Consider learning a few words and phrases from children’s native language to assist in communicating with parents. Frequently review books, podcasts and articles that describe the ways issues of gender roles, ethnic differences and bias manifest in non-Australian communities. This should give you some grounds for a culturally responsive teaching method.
Being culturally responsive helps teachers stay flexible and adaptable and create meaningful learning experiences for children. Culturally responsive teachers brings out the value present in other cultures and develops strength in children, their families and their communities.