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Incorporating children’s lived experiences in the classroom: Findings from teacher interviews on diversity, equity,and inclusion in early care and education curricula and professional development


Instructional systems, such as curricula, related materials, and professional development, are a way to improve classroom quality and allow teachers to create meaningful experiences for the young children they teach. However, there is limited evidence on how best to tailor these systems to the lived experiences of teachers and young children, especially those who are Black or Latine, speak languages other than English, or are affected by poverty. The communities to which these teachers and children belong have strengths, assets, and resilience, as well as shared experiences of poverty, racism, and other trauma. When fully recognized in instructional systems, these community characteristics may serve to strengthen the principles and design of early care and education instruction. To explore how to enhance instructional systems in this way, MDRC, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, conducted the Enhancing Professional Development Supports and Curriculum Design and Implementation in Early Care and Education and Preschool Systems from an Equity-Informed and Culturally Responsive Perspective Project. As part of the project, an MDRC study team interviewed 18 early care and education teachers caring for three- and four-year-olds to learn about their experiences with curricula and professional development as they relate to equity and inclusion in the classroom, with a view to informing their design through the application of a culturally and linguistically responsive lens. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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