This chapter aligns with all of the student learning outcomes for ECED& 105.
As teachers, we have the incredible responsibility and honor of teaching and caring for children in our classrooms and building intentional relationships with their families. Early childhood is a time where children are learning their numbers and letters. It is also a time where children are developing their own personal and social identities, learning the cultural beliefs and values of their family, of their classrooms and of society. When we ground our teaching in diversity, equity and inclusion, we are ensuring children the development of the whole child.
- Defining diversity
- Examining equity in early learning environments
- Asking what does it mean to be inclusive in culturally responsive classrooms
This chapter will be an introduction to why diversity, equity and inclusion should be an integral part of a teacher’s preparation process. We will define and examine diversity, equity, and inclusion in early childhood education. These are three key concepts we engage with on a daily basis. Developing a deeper understanding of these concepts, will provide us with the knowledge and awareness to reflect on our teaching in a more meaningful way. With this increased understanding of how these concepts have influenced our own personal and social development we can actively work at being anti-bias, anti-racist and culturally responsive educators.
Terminology found throughout this chapter will follow the guidelines provided by this statement:
In 2019, the National Association of the Education of Young Children, NAEYC introduced the Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement. The statement was developed through a collaborative effort from experts in early childhood education across the nation. This comprehensive position statement emphasized the integral role that early childhood educators have in supporting children’s cultural identity development and ensuring they have access to equitable learning experiences in early learning settings. This position statement details a multifaceted approach to diversity, equity and inclusion providing specific recommendations for people working at various programs involving early childhood education. Key terms, concepts and recommendations will come from this position statement.