Anti-bias and culturally supportive curriculums in early childhood education classrooms in Nova Scotia

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Quilty, Leah
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This study was designed to examine if anti bias and culturally responsive curriculums are present in urban and rural daycares in Nova Scotia. Additional factors were investigated to determine the relationship between early childhood educators' training, the length of time that they have been in the field, the number of professional training programs or academic courses on this curricula which they have attended, the ways in which the courses were conducted, the skills they were taught, a measure of cultural sensitivity, and the implementation and maintenance of a culturally responsive curriculum. Given that there is no current listing of early childhood educators in the province of Nova Scotia, the desired sample size was estimated using the following assumptions: at least 6 staff are employed in each urban center and 3 staff are employed in each rural daycare. Given that there are 379 licensed daycares in the province it was estimated that there would be 1527 early childhood educators in the province. Of the 308 early childhood educators who were approached, 32 (9%) responded to the invitation to participate. A decision was made not to seek more survey responses because of the time and expense relative to an anticipated low number of additional returns. An Intercultural Sensitivity Scale (ISS) and a questionnaire developed for the research was used to gather data in this study. The ISS was used to determine each participant's level of intercultural sensitivity and in particular how well each respondent interacted, enjoyed, respected, felt comfortable, and was attentive to students of various backgrounds. The questionnaire was used to gather information about demographics, the type of training early childhood professionals had received on anti-bias and culturally responsive curricula, the teacher's attitudes toward an anti-bias and culturally responsive curriculum, how teachers were making their classrooms and curriculum responsive to all students, the supports that the teachers perceived as being in their schools for them to engage in anti-bias practice, and the problems and issues they believed must be addressed in order to carry out successful multicultural education programs. Based on the fact that participants of this study did not mention features of the anti-bias and culturally responsive curriculum that past researchers have mentioned as critical, and the fact that this study showed no significant outcomes between those who were trained, either by degree, diploma, or the equivalency, and their culturally sensitivity, and the fact that one's level of experience did not have any significant impact on the way in which they were trained, it was suggested that in order for these outcomes to be adjusted it is the training program facilitator that needs to adjust.
Social values , Prejudices , Anti-racism , Early childhood education