Asian Culture in Early Childhood Classrooms
ECE 405 Children and Families in a Diverse Society
Prof. Kerry Trethewey
August 19, 2013
Asian Culture in Early Childhood Classrooms
Diverse backgrounds or “cultures” are necessary for the preschool classrooms just as they are for all classrooms. As a teacher, it is very important to understand all the cultures that are in your school as well the classroom. Students have no control over their culture; therefore no student should be judged or mistreated because of their background. Preschool education is beneficial for children, families, and the communities. Teachers are challenged with understanding the essentials of each student according to their individual culture.
There are often times when students come from families who are immigrants and do not speak English, while others will come from backgrounds who have been in the United States for decades. Nevertheless, all families should be treated with the same respect and egalitarianism as the next family. Some of the families from the diverse backgrounds are Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Hispanic, Native American and European diverse. Asian is the diverse group that I would become an expert on if asked by my Director at an international preschool.
The term Asian does not have any usefulness when categorizing the Asian culture. Asians are positively and negatively stereotyped “with words such as parents, disciplined, superstition, and sheltered” (Guan, Lee, & Cole, 2012). Asian families are said to want son so that they carry on the family name (Nguyen, 2002). Linda Nguyen also states that Asian women are not as valued as Asian men, and they are to be passive and obedient to the male (2002). Asians are often confused with other cultures such as Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, and Chinese to name a few. Each culture listed can be considered a part of the Asian descents; however, they all have their own differences. Asians might be misrepresented and misunderstood because of the different descents such as Chinese or ignored in the U.S. early childhood programs because people often show ignorance to things including people they do not understand. Americans have to realize that Asia is made up if several different cultures just like the United States. When engaging with the children and their families, the staff must conduct research to identify and familiarize themselves with each every culture of the classrooms and school as whole. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), in the position statement on developmentally appropriate practice (2009), “Practitioners work in collaborative partnerships with families, establishing and maintaining regular, frequent two-way communication with them” (p. 23). A great way to incorporate this, the staff could dedicate a week as “Family Week”. Family Week would consist of several events to engage the family inside the preschool while ensuring that the families are always welcome. During Family Week, the staff could host their own version of the game Family Feud. When identifying the questions, the answers will come from the different families in the school. The staff will also have several other family games available to make Family Game Night a success. The other games include: Monopoly, Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader, BINGO, Scrabble, and Gestures. Each family will be invited to bring their favorite family game to Family Game Night. This will allow each family to share their opinion about different topics while learning about the different cultures within the school and community. Another activity during Family Week is Reading Day. Reading Day will allow parents to sign up for a time slot to read to their child’s class. The parents will be invited to read their child’s favorite book. When reading the story, parents will be able to dress up and bring props to assist with building the children’s imagination. If...
References: Guan, M., Lee, F., & Cole, E. R. (2012). Complexity of culture: The role of identity and context in bicultural individuals ' body ideals. Cultural Diversity And Ethnic Minority Psychology, 18(3), 247-257. doi:10.1037/a0028730
Lefrançois, G. R. (2012). Children’s journeys: Exploring early childhood. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint Education, Inc.
Paley, V.G. (1993). You can 't say you can 't play. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. EdMap ISBN 9780674965904.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. (n.d.). Family engagement resource list. Retrieved from http://www.naeyc.org/familyengagement/resources/resource-list
Nguygen, Linda (2002). Characteristics of the Asian Family. Retrieved from http://www.coedu.usf.edu/zalaquett/mcdp/Asian%20handout.htm
York, S. 2006. Roots and Wings: Affirming Culture in Early Childhood Programs (Revised ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Education, Inc. ISBN: 9780558846558
Please join StudyMode to read the full document