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Young Learners, Diverse Children

Young Learners, Diverse Children
Celebrating Diversity in Early Childhood

Edited by:

Foreword by Eugene E. García

September 2009 | 248 pages | Corwin

"This is the first resource I have seen on this up-and-coming issue. The book takes a detailed, research-based look at a diverse population of children across the country and can be used effectively by classroom teachers, school divisions, and colleges."
—Katina Keener, Second-Grade Teacher
T. C. Walker Elementary School, Gloucester, VA

Nurture young children's self-esteem and boost learning by integrating family culture with instruction!

For the increasing number of diverse young learners, academic and social success can hinge on a teacher's ability to bridge home and school by making emotional connections with students and their families. This book demonstrates how combining teaching methods with an authentic appreciation of children's backgrounds builds the confidence they need to succeed.

Young Learners, Diverse Children offers a research-based instructional model that merges cognition, language, and culture to foster a supportive learning environment for diverse and low socioeconomic status (SES) students. Drawing on her direct experience in establishing a successful laboratory school for diverse preschoolers, Virginia Gonzalez presents examples of best teaching practices and provides lesson plans and alternative assessment tools to help readers:

  • Improve literacy skills through storytelling that reflects students' everyday lives
  • Collaborate with parents to increase student achievement
  • Correlate curriculum with TESOL standards for young children
  • Integrate academic standards across developmental levels and content areas

Using this practical handbook, early childhood educators can create richer, more positive learning experiences and help alleviate the real-life challenges of cultural adaptation for newly immigrated or low SES students and their families.

Lists of Figures and Tables
Foreword by Eugene E. Garcia
Preface: A Letter to the Reader
About the Author
Part I. Ethnic-Educator Philosophical and Theoretical Framework
1. The Ethnic-Educator Philosophy
Examples of Principle 1

Examples of Principle 2

Examples of Principle 3

Examples of Principle 4

2. The Ethnic-Educator Pedagogical Model
How Teachers' Personalities Affect Their Assessment and Instructional Decisions

A Socioconstructivistic Pedagogical Model Supporting the Ethnic-Educator Approach

The Four Pedagogical Principles for Learning and Academic Achievement

Part II. Educational Applications of the Ethnic-Educator Approach
3. Teaching Strategies
Strategies Supporting the Ethnic-Educator Approach

First Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: Thematic Curriculums

First Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: Holistic Developmental Curriculums

Second Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: Stimulating Critical-Thinking Skills

Second and Third Clusters of Pedagogical Strategies: A Pluralistic Pedagogy Stimulating Connections to Prior Sociocultural Knowledge and Real-life Experiences

Fourth Cluster of Pedagogical Strategies: An Advocacy Position for Teachers

Suggestions for Applying the Strategies

4. Linking the Teaching Strategies With Academic Content Standards
Linking Assessment to Instruction Through Classroom-Based Observations

Instructional Purposes of Assessment

Integration of Teaching Principles With TESOL Academic Content Standards in the Curriculum

Linking Assessment to Instruction Through Classroom-Based Observations

5. Developmental Tasks for Linking Assessment to Instruction
Case Study Introducing Individual Developmental Tasks

Discussion of Paula's Overall Performance Across Developmental Tasks

6. Storytelling
Research-Based Knowledge Supporting Storytelling as an Alternative Assessment

Storytelling as an Assessment Method of First- and Second-Language and Cognitive Development

Developmental Stages of Narrative and Semantic Development in Children

Socioconstructivist Perspective for Language Development

Sociocultural Perspective for Language Development

Application of Research-Based Knowledge to Actual Assessment Strategies

Recommended Strategies for Clustering Coding of Responses

Four Recommended Strategies for Interpreting Evaluation Results


7. Alternative Reading Instruction

Theoretical Framework Supporting Reading Instruction in Young, Diverse Children

Guided-Reading Approach for Developing Reading-Comprehension Skills

Application of the Guided-Reading Approach

Application of the Schema Theory

Repetition and Practice Make Perfect

Activities for Increasing Reading Abilities

Family Involvement for Increasing Reading Skills

Bridging the Gap Between School and Home Cultures Through Parental Participation


8. Conclusions and Recommendations for Educating Diverse Young Children
Introduction: The BPDC as a Learning Context

Interviews With Teachers Participating in the BPDC Project

Interviews With Diverse and Mainstream Parents Participating in the BPDC Project

Overall Conclusions

Appendix A. Alignment of Philosophical and Pedagogical Principles and Pedagogical Strategies Endorsed by the Ethnic-Educator Approach for Young, Diverse Children

"This book guides the reader in delivering developmentally appropriate instruction that supports the whole child and facilitates learning and academic achievement. The very detailed case study in Chapter 5 shows how assessment can be administered and how it links with instruction and documenting developmental growth."

Yolanda Abel, Instructor
Johns Hopkins University

"A resource on this up-and-coming issue hasn’t been available up to this point. It takes a detailed, research-based look at a diverse population of children across the country and can be used by classroom teachers, school divisions, and colleges.”

Katina Keener, Second-Grade Teacher
T.C. Walker Elementary School, Gloucester, VA

“This book provides many real-life examples and strategies that have worked for a practicing teacher, from implementing an appropriate curriculum to including the family in discussions about their child’s education. The charts at the end of the chapters really help the reader synthesize all of the information.”

Danielle Waldrep Rich, Assistant Professor and Clinical Supervisor
University of Montevallo

"An extremely valuable resource for early child educators of young diverse children. Not only does the book include alternate forms of instruction for diverse young children, but it also provides alternative forms of assessment. The ethnic educator philosophy endorsed by the book is one that can be applied to any classroom setting. All early childhood teachers, whether they have been teaching for twenty years or are just beginning their career, should read this book."

Lauren Sand, Assistant Preschool Teacher
Arlitt Child and Family Research and Education Center, Reading, OH

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