The Improving Childcare Outcomes Research (ICOR) project, with Diane Hirshberg as part of the team, is expanding the definition of culturally responsive teaching from its current K-12 focus to include early childhood education. This involves creating and assessing the effectiveness of new professional development aimed at strengthening culturally responsive practices among early childhood educators. The work is intended to be informed by research. As part of that, researchers surveyed parents and educators about how they define culturally responsive practice. Preliminary results of this survey (PDF, 3MB) are now available as a presentation.

early childhood facility with native artwork on the wall and 2 windowsThe next stages include:

  • Conduct focus groups with parents
  • Develop and implement rating methods
  • Create and field pre-training assessment of educators
  • Develop and implement training for educators
  • Field post-training assessment of educators

ICOR will be providing the professional development to two cohorts of Early Head Start educators. Qualitative observations and interviews of the first cohort will guide refinement of the professional development prior to training the second cohort. The project will inform future professional development around culturally responsive practice across the state, as well as refinement of an instrument to measure how well educators engage in culturally responsive practice.