32 6.3: The Role of the Early Childhood Educator

By understanding diversity and respecting individuality, educators can better serve culturally diverse students. Moreover, early childhood educators should possess three elements.

1. Personal commitment

There is no short cut or single answer to accomplish educational equality for America’s culturally diverse populations. In addition, working with children and their families with diverse cultures is challenging and can be difficult. In order to make significant progress, educators need to have sincere and wholehearted commitment. Such commitment can be tough but is necessary for educators in dealing with a variety of issues in multicultural classrooms and in meeting the challenge of diverse groups of children.

2. Knowledge of what makes a difference

“Recent research has redefined the nature of our culturally diverse students’ educational vulnerability. It has destroyed both stereotypes and myths and laid a foundation upon which to reconceptualize present educational practices and launch new initiatives. This foundation recognizes the homogeneity/heterogeneity within and between such populations.”(Garcia, 1995). The study findings for early childhood contribute important knowledge to general instructional organization, literacy development, academic achievement in content areas and the perspectives of children, families, and educators. Therefore, educators should recognize that academic development has its roots in sharing knowledge and experiences through communication. Within the knowledge-driven curriculum, skills are tools for acquiring knowledge, not an essential goal of teaching events.

3. Educational leadership

Educators need to move beyond national educational goals. Educational leadership is needed to spread new knowledge, to apply new knowledge to skill development, and to engage in childhood development. [69]


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