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“In Hispanic Culture, the Children Are the Jewels of the Family”: An Investigation of Home and Community Culture in a Bilingual Early Care and Education Center Serving Migrant and Seasonal Farm Worker Families

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Author(s): Jennifer L. Gilliard | Rita A. Moore | Jeanette J. Lemieux

Journal: Early Childhood Research & Practice
ISSN 1524-5039

Volume: 9;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2007;
Original page

Keywords: Early Childhood Education | Diversity | Migrant Workers | Hispanic Families | Teacher Attitudes | Bilingual Programs

ABSTRACT
This article investigates how culture shapes instruction in a bilingual early care and education program serving migrant and seasonal farm worker families in rural Wyoming. Interviews with eight early childhood teachers as well as classroom observations were conducted. The investigation is framed around the following research question: How does the culture of the family and the community shape curriculum in the investigated migrant and seasonal early learning program? Data analysis suggested that providing curriculum in the child’s home language is critical to supporting relationships in addition to language development. As well, the importance of educators responding to diverse cultures through showing respect for children and families plus individualizing instruction and care was reflected in the data. Implications for early childhood practitioners are discussed.

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