Developing Cultural Awareness And Practice Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Developing cultural awareness and practice.

Answer:

Professional conduct and ethical considerations an early childhood teacher must consider in practice:

Early childhood educators are provided the responsibility to provide children with the scope of learning mannerisms and develop their cognitive ability. The teacher mainly initiates the basic teachings like washing hands after meals, apologizing after sneezing and such mannerisms. With the passing of days, teacher tries them to introduce to different elements of nature and helping them to connect themselves with nature (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2016). They also help in developing morale, values and virtues with proper family manners and many others. Professions of such teachers require them to be ethical which includes thinking about their daily activities and also help in decision making which may be individually as well as collectively. Professional conduct of such teachers requires them to be in a responsible position of ‘trust and influence’. This should be done while handling their relationship with not only children but also with, colleagues, families and the community. Researchers are of the opinion that professional accountability is one of the most important aspects in their profession (Peters, 2015).

While working with the children, the teacher should keep in mind that every child has their own unique and special interests and also their inner strength and capacity to contribute to the communities. Hence the teacher should never force him or her to learn more. She should respect the capability of the students and develop her planning accordingly. Other code of ethics that teachers should keep in mind is that children are citizens from birth and therefore they also possess civil, cultural, social, and economic and linguistics rights and the teachers should never impress upon her biasness over such rights (Noddings, 2013). The teacher should have the knowledge that effective learning as well as teaching is based on professional decisions which draw on specialized knowledge and multiple perspectives. Her professional conduct dictates her to establish proper partnerships with families and communities. This would help in supporting shared responsibilities for learning of the children and also maintaining their well being and development. Another ethical consideration that the teachers should keep in mind is that their teaching and behaviors would ensure democratic, fair and inclusive practices. These would promote not only equity but also ensure a strong sense of belonging. Researchers are also of the opinion that responsive, reciprocal and respectful relationships are the central to the children education and care. Teachers should also keep in mind that play and leisure are also important for learning of children, development and well being and therefore should never force the child to work against his or her will (Strike & Soltis, 2015).

Professional conduct of the nurses also ensure that the teachers should act in the best interest for the children and thereby create and maintain healthy, safe and inclusive environments. This would support children’s agency and would enhance their learning. The teacher should also ensure that she provides proper value to the relationship shard by the children with the families and thereby enhance their relationship through proper practice. The most important aspect which should be inculcated in the practice of teacher is that she should ensure that children should never be exposed to any discrimination against the basis of gender, age, ability, family structure, economic status, lifestyle, religion, language, sexuality, culture or national origin. A nurse maintaining such responsibilities will be able to practice without any legal or ethical obligations.

Cultural awareness and cultural competence requirements of an early childhood teacher:

Cultural competence and cultural awareness of an early child educator mainly helps her to follow practices where he or she remains free from any biases and stereotypes for his or her students. He or she provides them with education that aligns with their culture and never disrespects their cultural preferences. Researchers suggest that in order to be culturally competent, teachers need to develop certain important principles. The principles are maintaining secure, respectful as well as reciprocal relationships (Forehand & Kotchick, 2016). Another principle is maintaining partnerships followed by high expectations and equality and at the same time respecting the diversity. Besides these four principles, culturally competent teachers should also maintain the fifth principle in their practices which is the ongoing learning and also involves frequent reflective practices. An early year educator should base her teaching plan on the ideal that culture is one of the most important fundamental building blocks of identity. Therefore, the development of a sense of strong cultural identity is very important to children’s healthy sense of who they are and the roots where they belong to.

Underlying cultural competence are also the principles of respect for diversity, trust, fairness, equity and also social justice. Researchers are of the opinion that culture is one of the most important building blocks of identity and therefore development of a strong bond of cultural identity is extremely important for children (Nelson & Guerra, 2014). Cultural competence of the teachers should therefore be based on being aware of his or her world view and developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences. The teacher should also gain knowledge about the different cultural practices and world views. The teachers should also take initiatives to develop skills for proper communication and maintain proper interaction across cultures.

Teachers who are culturally competent and possess cultural awareness can ensure proper development of children who will in turn possess certain important characteristics (Moran et al., 2014). Teachers should make sure that children should develop a sense of belonging to cultural groups and communities. Moreover, at the same time, they should also develop an understanding of the different reciprocal rights and responsibilities which are important for active participation in community participation. Children should also be made to respond to the diversity not only with respect but also with fairness. A culturally competent teacher also becomes successful in making children become socially responsible and at the same time show respect for the environment (Heineke, Kennedy & Lees, 2013).

Cultural awareness practices and protocols for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families:

Recent data shows that many indigenous families and communities in modern Australia are facing a large number of challenges. It has been found that their strength and resilience both have been compromised by different types of complex problems. This includes historical as well as ongoing depression, racism, and marginalization. They also had to face legacy of the past policies of forced removal; and cultural assimilation (Walker et al., 2014). All these lead to high levels of unemployment and poverty. Violence and substance abuse are also seen in their communities. All these have tremendous impacts on the budding minds of the children and also have negative impacts on the indigenous children. These include poor health, educational and social outcomes when comparison is done with that of the non-indigenous children.

The first step that should be incorporated by the early year educator is involving the community members in the programs and services of their children. They should be encouraged to participate in the planning and implementation of the services so that they can feel that their choices are respected and their dignity is maintained. Secondly, it is also important to identify their passing needs (Zubrzycki et al., 2014). The early year educator should mainly be communicating with the community members and mainly start with small and achievable objectives rather than trying to take bigger objectives which would consume time. Researchers are of the opinion that early successes mainly help in maintaining a ripple effect which in turn inspire community confidence and motivate service staff (Kelahar et al., 2017). Moreover the existing networks, services and resources should be utilized in a proper manner which should be in turn used for developing more prominent projects where equal participation of parents and children for health education can be established. The already established channels should be worked upon to make them more pronounced.

Culturally competent services should be ensured by delivering services in a creative as well as flexible manner. This should be done in response to the varieties of changing needs of the community. This is found to include not only flexibility in the various ways by which the service is provided but also where the services should be conducted. Moreover, the native community members would be also involving the members in the planning of the service structure. Moreover, the programs should be conducted in informal and most importantly in non- threatening settings such as in a person’s home or similar so that more participation can ensured. Another, important thing that one should keep in mind is to keep the costs minimum. Moreover, to develop their trust, cultural artifacts in the services and everyday activities can be used like traditional tools, foods and artwork. Moreover, involving the community elders would be another good initiative to help native people develop their quality of lives.


Involving the families, elders and children in services by properly encouraging them to participate in the services is one way of developing their health. Developing initiatives, encouraging flexibilities, respecting their dignities and others should be maintained for ensuring good life for native people.

Professional and ethical considerations for establishing relationships and partnerships with families:

Modern researchers are of the opinion that only involving families in the operation of the services and reporting them about the status of their child are not enough for the betterment of the child and also of the families. They are of the opinion that parents and the families should be encouraged to collaborate with the service providers to support the learning of the children. It is now believed that educators should establish partnership and work in collaboration with children and families. This help in negotiating the child’s experience (Morrison, 2013).

The partnership is a relationship which would be set between the educators and the families and should never be considered as a set of activities. The different aspects that the partnership would involve are effective collaboration about the different curriculum decisions. The second aspect would be to understand each other’s expectations and attitudes and working accordingly so that dignity and autonomy can be respected. Both should value each other’s contributions and praise their roles in the child’s life (Duncan et al., 2016). Development of mutual trust is extremely important and the entire foundation of partnership between the educator and the families is based on these. These could be only enhanced by ongoing open as well as respectful communication. Valuing each other’s knowledge of the child along with that of the building on and contributing to each other’s knowledge through sharing information and insights are some of the very important. Both the parents and the educators should decide together about the child’s needs, perspectives, issues and others. Therefore, in place of only being teacher and parents, both should come together acting as guardians and thereby work in partnership and take decisions for their students. These would ensure that the children overcome all barriers and develop their cognitive abilities and acknowledges actively (Efford, 2017).


From the above discussion, it is quite clear that the future of students’ lives can only be enlightened when families and educators come together as partners. The partners would establish strong bonds among each other and thereby ensure that effective care is taken of their wards ensuring a successful career in the future

References:

Duncan, S. F., & Goddard, H. W. (2016). Family life education: Principles and practices for effective outreach. Sage Publications.

Erford, B. T. (2017). Orientation to the counseling profession: Advocacy, ethics, and essential professional foundations. Pearson.

Forehand, R., & Kotchick, B. A. (2016). Cultural Diversity: A Wake-Up Call for Parent Training–Republished Article. Behavior therapy, 47(6), 981-992.

Heineke, A., Kennedy, A., & Lees, A. (2013). Preparing Early Childhood Educators for the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Classrooms and Communities of Illinois. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 15(2), n2.

Kelaher, M., Parry, A., Day, S., Paradies, Y., Lawlor, J., & Solomon, L. (2017). Improving the identification of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in mainstream general practice.

Moran, R. T., Abramson, N. R., & Moran, S. V. (2014). Managing cultural differences. Routledge.

Morrison, G. S. (2013). Fundamentals of early childhood education. Pearson Higher Ed.

Nelson, S. W., & Guerra, P. L. (2014). Educator beliefs and cultural knowledge: Implications for school improvement efforts. Educational Administration Quarterly, 50(1), 67-95.

Noddings, N. (2013). Caring: A relational approach to ethics and moral education. Univ of California Press.

Peters, R. S. (2015). Ethics and Education (Routledge Revivals). Routledge.

Shapiro, J. P., & Stefkovich, J. A. (2016). Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.

Strike, K., & Soltis, J. F. (2015). The ethics of teaching. Teachers College Press.

Walker, R., Schultz, C., & Sonn, C. (2014). Cultural competence–Transforming policy, services, programs and practice. Working together: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and wellbeing principles and practice, 195-220.

Zubrzycki, J., Green, S., Jones, V., Stratton, K., Young, S., & Bessarab, D. (2014). Getting it right: Creating partnerships for change. Integrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledges in social work education and practice

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