I have a new friend in me: The effect of a multicultural/anti-bias curriculum on the development of social cognition in preschoolers
AuthorRosenzweig, Jill Ellen
KeywordsEducation, Bilingual and Multicultural.
Education, Early Childhood.
Education, Curriculum and Instruction.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe purpose of this study was to investigate the early childhood program at the Tucson Jewish Community Center in order to discover the program's role in reproducing or restructuring the social order existing in the wider society. The study examined events in which issues of race, gender, class, and physical or mental disabilities arose in centers, during teacher guided group activities, at lunch, on the playground, and during other special activities among the groups of three and four year old children in the Center's preschool. The research then reviewed how young children develop social cognition and how they construct an understanding of their identity while developing expectations about individual and group behavior. It went on to investigate the manner in which race, gender, class, and disabilities issues were expressed and lived out by the children and staff. The data indicated that all four topics had meaning for the children, but issues involving race and gender arose more frequently than issues involving class and disabilities. The main source of information for this study were vignettes recorded in the three and four year old classrooms. The vignettes revealed the extent of the anti-bias perspective guiding the actions of both the staff and children and provided the data to evaluate the effect of the anti-bias curriculum presently in use at the preschool. The findings indicated that while an anti-bias perspective guided the resolution of many issues, it was not pervasive among all the children and staff. The findings also illustrated when an anti-bias perspective was guiding the formal curriculum. The major focus of the research questions was to determine the need for further staff training in order to develop a pervasive anti-bias perspective among the staff and children. The data indicated that additional staff training would be beneficial. Additional staff training should address the anti- bias perspective of the participants and the children. It should also explore ways to expand this perspective within the formal curriculum so that the curriculum stresses a democratic multicultural perspective.
Degree ProgramGraduate College