Recommendations for Everyone
You are here
Home / Resources / Position Statements / Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement / Recommendations for Everyone
The following general recommendations apply to everyone involved in any aspect of early childhood education.
- Build awareness and understanding of your culture, personal beliefs, values, and biases. Recognize that everyone holds some types of bias based on their personal background and experiences. Even if you think of yourself as unbiased, reflect on the impacts of racism, sexism, classism, ableism, heterosexism, xenophobia, and other systems of oppression affecting you and the people around you. Identify where your varied social identities have provided strengths and understandings based on your experiences of both injustice and privilege.
- Recognize the power and benefits of diversity and inclusivity. Carefully observe and listen to others (children, families, colleagues). Expand your knowledge by considering diverse experiences and perspectives without generalizing or stereotyping.
- Take responsibility for biased actions, even if unintended, and actively work to repair the harm. When you commit a biased action, be ready and willing to be held accountable. Resist the urge to become defensive, especially as a member of a privileged group. Before making judgments, take responsibility for recognizing what you don’t know or understand and use the opportunity to learn and reflect. Be willing to constructively share feedback and discuss alternative approaches when observing potentially biased actions by others.
- Acknowledge and seek to understand structural inequities and their impact over time. Take action when outcomes vary significantly by social identities (e.g., lopsided achievement test scores, number and frequency of suspensions or expulsions that disproportionately target African American and Latino boys, or engagement with certain materials and activities by gender). Look deeper at how your expectations, practices, curriculum, and/or policies may contribute (perhaps unwittingly) to inequitable outcomes for children and take steps to change them.
- View your commitment to cultural responsiveness as an ongoing process. It is not a one-time matter of mastering knowledge of customs and practices, but an enduring responsibility to learn and reflect based on direct experiences with children, their families, and others.
- Recognize that the professional knowledge base is changing. There is growing awareness of the limitations of child development theories and research based primarily on a normative perspective of White, middle-class children without disabilities educated in predominantly English-language schools.3, 4 Keep up to date professionally as more strengths-based approaches to research and practice are articulated and as narrowly defined normative approaches to child development and learning are questioned. Be willing to challenge the use of outdated or narrowly defined approaches—for example, in curriculum, assessment policies and practices, or early learning standards. Seek information from families and communities about their social and cultural beliefs and practices to supplement your knowledge.